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Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation Through the involvement of local R&I Actors (TeRRItoria)



Since February 2019 the Applied Research and Communications Fund has been collaborating within the Horizon 2020-funded partnership “Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation Through the involvement of local R&I Actors” (TeRRItoria). The aim of this ambitious project is to experiment with the adoption of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach in European regional and territorial R&I systems. TeRRItoria seeks to tackle a double challenge - to bring RRI at the forefront of the debate for developing local and regional R&I capacities, and to use RRI as a springboard for expanding the range of stakeholders involved in enhancing the regional research and innovation strategies under the framework of smart specialisation strategies.

The fundamental premise behind the project is that RRI approaches, policies and practices, developed so far at the level of research institutions, may be adapted to those of regional and territorial governance. Following this idea, the project will develop what can be called “TeRRItorial RRI” by conducting a set of transformative experiments in five pre-selected European territories – four regions and one municipality. The five are represented in the project consortium by a territorial body and have been selected to cover a broad range of different European geo-political contexts:
  • Region of Central Macedonia (Greece)
  • Region of Emilia Romagna (Italy)
  • Region of Trøndelag (Norway)
  • Region of North-East (Romania)
  • Municipality of Gabrovo (Bulgaria)
The key specific objectives of TeRRItoria are:
  • to introduce concrete and measurable changes in the R&I systems of the five territories mentioned above, in order to make them more inclusive;
  • to introduce concrete and measurable institutional changes in the territorial organisations involved in the project, so that RRI becomes an embedded element of their planning process;
  • to develop a better understanding of how RRI can be adapted at the territorial level;
  • and to contribute to the enhancement of the Smart Specialisation Strategy process through exploring synergies with RRI.

The role of ARC Fund will be to coordinate the mapping of R&I ecosystems in the five chosen territories. It will develop the mapping toolbox, which will incorporate the following:
  • tools for in-depth mapping of territorial milieu (the territories where the planned five experiments will be developed): database of main societal actors; a database of on-going RRI practices in the selected five territories; territorial risk analysis observation grid covering social, economic, demographic and cultural risks; territorial policies observation grid considering the main territorial policies developed by actors at different levels of governance;
  • tools for the state-of-the-art analysis on regional R&I systems – taking advantage of the tools already developed in the Smart Specialisation Platform, the European Clusters Observatory, the Regional Innovation Scoreboard and Online S3.
ARC Fund will also contribute to the development of an inventory of bottom-up governance innovation practices all over Europe (selected among the bottom-up experiences connected with the R&I societal challenges not necessarily labeled as RRI). ARC Fund will as well support the Municipality of Gabrovo (Bulgaria) in conducting the transformative experiments on the territory of the municipality.

The “Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation Through the involvement of local R&I Actors” project started in February 2019 and will finish in January 2022. The partnership is comprised of the following organisations:

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