The EU-funded TRANSFORM Project (Territories as Responsive and Accountable Networks of S3 through new Forms of Open and Responsible decision-Making) is putting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) into practice. This project brings together three European regions – Lombardy (Italy), Brussels-Capital (Belgium), and Catalonia (Spain) – that are working towards the implementation of RRI into their Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).

The main objective of this project is to establish more open, transparent, and democratic R&I ecosystems in Europe. By doing so, it will participate in the consolidation of RRI Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) by integrating an RRI approach within existing regional innovation processes. This project will also lead to the empowerment of diverse stakeholders to implement and/or engage with the development of responsible regional development processes and evaluate their impact. Another objective of the project is also to explore concrete R&I working methods based on three sound methodological approaches: participatory research agenda-setting, citizen science, and design for social innovation. Lastly, this project will promote shared learning and diffusion of governance innovations.

The year 2020 has been a successful year for TRANSFORM, all regions have been actively working toward the implementation of RIS3 by using the three different methodological approaches identified in the objectives of the project. Lombardy implemented participatory agenda-setting in the design of the next Three Years’ Strategic Plan for Research, Innovation, and Technology Transfer. Catalonia integrated citizen science to transform selected pilot projects in the field of selective municipal solid waste collection, transforming them from the triple to the quadruple helix. Brussels-Capital used design thinking for social innovation in the circular economy, awarding grants to support innovative ideas responding to the selected collective challenges. On top of these initiatives, Regional Think Tanks were set up. In 2020, the Catalan Think Tank organised four webinars to foster knowledge exchange, open discussions, and experimentation about RRI and citizen science. TRANSFORM also developed a Shared learning Action Plan to outline the mutual learning and capacity-building activities among and within clusters.

For 2021, the project aims to implement citizen engagement in the three regions. This will be complemented with regular monitoring and evaluation, and regular capacity-building sessions among TRANSFORM partners.

Read more about the project here

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