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ARC Fund at the Pathways to Transformation conference

Pathways to Transformation conference was the concluding event for two EU-funded projects NUCLEUS and RRI-Practice. The jointly organised conference took place in Brussels on June 20-21, 2019 and explored the pathways that institutions may follow in order to become more socially responsive:
• What can research-performing organisations learn from the projects’ institutional RRI experiments (Practical Pathways)?
• And how can research policy incentivise stakeholders to contribute to more responsive science and innovation systems (Policy Pathways)?
More details about the conference are available at its official webpage. A short summary of presentations and discussions is available at the RRI-Practice webpage. A large photo album from the conference can be accessed here.

ARC Fund’s RRI Action Plan was highlighted as one of the effective examples of strengthening the principles of responsible research and innovation in research-conducting organisations (see photo).

Programme Director Ms. Zoya Damianova and Senior Analyst Mr. Marko Hajdinjak took part in the conference on behalf of ARC Fund. Ms. Damianova moderated a breakout session where three RRI-Practice members presented some of the main project outputs and results: challenges of doing RRI in multi-partner research projects, the RRI Handbook for organisations, and the good practice examples for the five RRI keys.

The key points of the discussion:
• There seem to be two dominant interpretations of RRI (European Commission with its five keys and the European Parliament, which focuses on the process of implementation of the RRI concept), which can result in a potential struggle.
• The Handbook represents a good overview of good practices and shares lessons about implementing RRI in organisations. But this is only the start of the process – it would be very useful to learn how research organisations have acted upon the RRI concept. It is also important to know how to evaluate the uptake of RRI and what are the incentives for implementing RRI.
• One of the main criteria for selection of good practices for the Handbook was their transferability. They are relevant and can be applied in a wide variety of organisations, regardless of their type and geographic location.
• RRI champions can be very effective in pushing the RRI agenda into the institutions, but on the other hand, the championship might be overexploited – there seem to be champions for everything, and all the rest prefer to hide in their shade. Championship is also too dependent on personal commitment and passion.
• Both projects have come up with similar findings and identified elements that are widespread and applicable on the global scale.


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