Insights from the Social Lab 14 (SPREAD) second workshop

Date: 29-30 Nov 2018

Place: TACR, Prague, Czech Republic


The Workshop convened 19 stakeholders from research ‑ including Widening grantees, team members and applicants ‑, research funding organizations, industry representatives and civil society organizations to develop pilot activities which might help to implement elements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the Widening work programme and, more generally, in research funding organizations of Widening countries.

Second workshop of the Widening SL dig into several keys of the RRI paradigm, with the collaboration of some invited experts that share their experience and expertise with the participants in the workshop. In addition, pilot drivers also exposed the advances of their different pilot actions and share with the group the barriers, challenges and opportunities that have been facing since the beginning of the lab in Madrid on March 2018. Lack of incentives and indicators for promoting RRI as well as lack of resources and awareness were commonly argued. Nevertheless, some potential benefits were mentioned such as public engagement, better quality of science or science orientation to society needs.

New pilot actions were also identified during this second workshop for being promoted during the lapse between the second and third workshop and promoting RRI in the countries that are the recipients of the Widening work programme.


  • Valentyna Andrushchenko – National Centre on EU Cooperation in Science and Technology (Ukraine)
  • Tigran Arzumayan – National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (Armenia)
  • Georgi Bonchev – Bulgrain Academy of Sciences (Bulgary)
  • Tung Tung Chan – University of Leiden (The Netherlands)
  • Anca Constantinescu-Dobra – Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
  • Madalian Cotiu – Tehcnical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
  • Pavla Foltynova – Central European Institute of Technology (Czech Republic)
  • Mila Grahovac – University of Novi Sad (Serbia)
  • Ana Hidalgo – CSIC (Spain)
  • Karina Shchakhbazian – National Centre on EU Cooperation in Science and Technology (Ukraine)
  • Valya Vassileva – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgary)
  • Anna Voseckova – Technology Centre CAS (Czech Republic)
  • Petar Vrgovic – Univeristy of Novi Sad (Serbia)
  • Maria Zolotonosa – Stickydot (Belgium)

Pilot Action 1: Human Sustainable Development

The first pilot action that was identified in the second workshop aims to enrich and deepen the sustainability and social dimensions of the scientific and technological curricula that are being delivered in a particular Romanian university. The pilot is looking for support of sustainability and SSH experts of the region to prepare a concept and an approach.

Pilot Action 2: RRI training 2.0

This pilot is a continuation of the first action that was delivered after the first workshop by one of the participants in the SL. It has generated a complete module on RRI for Widening applicants in Czech language by a Czech participant. After the second workshop, this module is being translated into Spanish and other participants are also considering working on this module for providing other translations. This work is embedded in the European network of National Contact Points of Widening, and have been backed up by other off-line trainings that have delivered to the full network of NCP´s.

Pilot Action 3: Chat with a researcher

Third pilot action identified in second workshop is oriented to push forward science picnics that happen in several eastern countries. This pilot action aims to provide offline (picnics) and online (twitter chats) public engagements with researchers for providing forums where people can make questions to scientists or learn something new about science, technology and innovation. The pilot is working on the attraction of researchers to this initiative.

Pilot Action 4: Turning the tables (reverse science-café)

The last pilot action identified and that is being promoted after this workshop aims to connect the academia with the industry for increasing the presence of the former one in the networks of the latter one, and as a way for improving the collaborations between these two differentiated worlds. The objective is to promote stable collaborations in Serbia that can permeate the business paradigm with scientific culture.

By Raúl Tabarés
Senior researcher at ICT Division and Social Lab 14 Manager Assistant