Creating synergies is a fundamental activity of initiatives that promote and encourage the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation across Europe. This is particularly the case for H2020 projects under the SwafS (‘Science with and for Society’) programme, whose principal objective is to create or/and foster bridges between scientists and citizens, essentially navigating all societal actors towards RRI governance structures. This means that EU research, development, and innovation must become compatible with the moral values, social concerns, and economic needs of European local communities.

However, each territory within the EU has its own specificities, and no initiative or project on this own could ever possibly address the complex challenges that Europe as whole faces during the transition to more sustainable and ethical R&I policies. For that reason, exchange of knowledge and sharing of lessons learned between projects is necessary for RRI practitioners and supporters. By mutually discussing their experiences, RRI-related projects can offer reciprocal insight on how each one approaches methodologically the idea of RRI promotion, how it confronts potential barriers, how it capitalizes on successes, and how it ensures the sustainability of results beyond the end of the project.

Under this context, RRI2SCALE and TeRRItoria projects have officially established communication channels with each other and started working on finding joint strategies to achieve their goals. TeRRItoria is a Horizon 2020 project which aims to position regions and local authorities as places for science governance, education, public engagement, ethics, and open access. The project brings together 13 partners from different angles of Europe, and it strives to connect regional development and competitiveness with Responsible Research and Innovation practices. The rationale behind this effort is that by embracing the six key dimensions of RRI, European regions will become able to confront local challenges at the micro-level, proposing tailored solutions. At the same time, local authorities will restore the legitimacy of science in the eyes of ordinary citizens. As such, TeRRItoria puts forward five pilot areas as “testbeds” of applied experiments, focusing on different pilot activities and aspects of RRI in each area.

By commencing their synergy, the two projects aspire to learn from each other and enhance their visibility. During the course of their life-cycle, RRI2SCALE and TeRRItoria will elaborate on both virtual and physical means of support, gaining feedback and adapting their communication strategies accordingly, if necessary.

More will follow on our synergy with TeRRItoria; stay tuned!

Read more about TeRRItoria here.

Note: The photo in this article has been taken during the first virtual meeting between members of RRI2SCALE and TeRRItoria projects. The persons displayed in the photo have freely given their formal consent to be included in the article.