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Engage2020 looks at the opportunities members of society have for more direct involvement in research, innovation and related activities at present and in the future. Its ambition is to collect, evaluate and increase the understanding of citizens’ (lay persons) engagement in research and innovation. The project is funded by the European Commission and:

  • traces how, where and why members of the public, stakeholders, consumers and other groups are engaged in the research and innovation processes;
  • explores existing policies and methods, tools and instruments for engagement;
  • spreads awareness of the opportunities for engagement amongst researchers, policy makers and other interested parties;
  • arranges conferences and workshops to discuss how existing praxis can be improved;
  • develops an Action Catalogue – an online decision support tool on relevant engagement approaches based on all the knowledge gathered through the project activities;
  • inspires new actors to consider the relevance of societal engagement in research and innovation, and the benefits thereof.

The European Commission has identified seven key priorities, listed in Horizon2020 – The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which need to be comprehensively addressed during the 2014-2020 programming period. These are referred to as Grand Societal Challenges, and include:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

Engage2020 points out appropriate policies and methods for engaging members of society in research and innovation activities related to these challenges.

The project began in September 2013 and will run until November 2015. Some key deliverables will be released to the public by autumn 2014, in order to be available for consideration for the 2016-2017 calls for proposals within Horizon2020.

Partners in the project include:

  • The Danish Board of Technology Foundation, Denmark (coordinator);
  • Karlsruher Institut Fuer Technologie, Germany;
  • The Involve Foundation, United Kingdom;
  • Science Shop, University of Groningen, Netherlands;
  • Applied Research and Communications Fund, Bulgaria;
  • Dialogik – non-profit institute for communication and cooperation research, Germany.

For more information, visit the website of the project,, or contact:

Ventseslav Kozarev at: ventseslav.kozarev[at]
Blagovesta Chonkova at: blagovesta.chonkova[at]

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