To build a more just, inclusive and responsible future, the needs, expectations and values of citizens should be taken into account. Citizen participation has received increasing attention in recent years at European, national and regional level.
TRANSFORM aims to introduce citizen engagement practices into the governance of regional research and innovation, dealing in particular with Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) in three European territories: Lombardy (Italy), Catalonia (Spain), Brussels-Capital (Belgium). Under the common framework of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), each region is piloting actions aimed at implementing open and inclusive processes that better link local research and innovation priorities to societal needs, while generating socially acceptable solutions through the involvement of quadruple helix stakeholders (business, research, civil society and public administration). Three methodologies are being tested: participatory research agenda setting, citizen science and design thinking for social innovation.
The TRANSFORM project (2020-2022), funded under H2020, brings together 12 partners. Each cluster includes regional administrations engaged in S3, civil society organisations, universities and/or companies. All clusters work closely with Regional Think Tanks (regional R&I stakeholders), bringing a variety of views, know-how and priorities on regional R&I policy making, ensuring that different needs and perspectives are taken into account.
To advance RRI in territories, TRANSFORM extensively promotes sharing of best practices, lessons learned, and the diffusion of governance innovations in the project’s regional clusters and beyond to other regions of the EU. While focusing on their regional activities, the three TRANSFORM clusters will not only learn from each other but also benefit from exchanges with the CC-PES initiative in Boston (USA).
Concrete examples of inclusive and sustainable territorial development are being tested, thus providing a set of reliable Policy Recommendations to transforming regional R&I ecosystems towards RRI as well as the Strategic Roadmaps for the implementation of RRI within S3.