February 12, 2019

Social Lab 11: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Diversity of approaches

The Social Lab 11 is set up to analyse the present state of RRI in research infrastructure, assess potentials and barriers and foster the uptake of RRI in research and innovation especially related to “climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” as comprised by the present Horizon 2020 programme line Societal Challenge 5 (SC5). As such, the Social Lab brings together experts from research, business, funding organizations, politics and NGOs to share their experiences and expertise on RRI in research and innovation projects on the regional, national and European level.

Social Lab Workshops

Workshop 1 – Responsible Research and Innovation for a Resource Efficient and Climate Resilient Economy and Society

Date: 17th-18th May 2018

Place: Villa Elisabeth, Berlin

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2 – Promoting the Uptake of Responsible Research and Innovation in Research Funding and Practice

Date: 21st-22nd March 2019

Place: Magnus-Haus, Berlin

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 20 & 21 February 2020

Place: Berlin Kreuzberg, Germany

Description of the workshop

Pilot Actions

Pilot Action 1: Public Innovation Compass

The Pilot Action concentrates on how environmentally focused Public Innovation Labs can best incorporate governance and public engagement in their research.
To this end the NewHoRRIzon project hosts a Workshop at the World Resources Forum at Geneva (WRF, 22.-24 October 2019) for a consultation and co-design process with selected Public Innovation Labs. Bringing together researchers and practitioners of such labs as well as other relevant stakeholders the Workshop is designed to stimulate reflection on present (established) practices related to RRI dimensions and values in Public Innovation processes, to identify potential key benefits of RRI to Public Innovation and obstacles for implementation as well as ways to overcome them.

Pilot Action 2: RRI must/need to have. Applicants SL5 <-> NCPs consultation awareness & training

The goal is to write a policy recommendation that aims at having public engagement as a fundamental part of research proposals (from “nice to have” to “must have”). We want to write a piece of text that defines the rationale and concrete provisions for public engagement in SC5 related topics in FP9. In order to gather information about the needs for public engagement, the idea is to create and conduct a survey in our Social Lab and the participants’ networks asking them to communicate their view on the integration of public engagement with regards to good arguments for public engagement (in SC5 related topics). By collecting this information, we can gather valuable information about public engagement that we lack up to now. The resulting paper is to be written in a co-creating process whereby we integrate the input of all the institutions that participated in the survey, thereby giving the recommendation more weight.

Pilot Action 3: Urban transition coalitions

The main idea is to bring together different civil society stakeholder groups in order to study interest formation, coalitions building and sustainability learning in a specific area of urban transformation conflicts. The Pilot action takes gardening in Berlin as an example bringing together, studying and working with urban garden activists and traditional urban gardeners about views and practices on gardening and its social and climate benefits for cities in a growing city. The research is intended to make the case for such Urban coalitions having the potential to foster successful transitions towards resilient cities – and how to integrate them into research & research funding processes.

Pilot Action 4: Value Added Transfer

The pilot group makes the case with good practice examples at hand that RRI is a clear advantage as far as the EC’s objectives of jobs and growth are concerned. RRI advocates on the policy level shall be provided with convincing facts and figures in order to grasp the interest or counter the arguments of those reluctant to consider participative and transdisciplinary research. Thus, the brochure “RRI – Impact through Participation” is in the making: While most texts are finished we are awaiting the last project example and then engage in a catchy design for the target group. Is is planned to provide the brochure in mid-February in order to have first reactions at hand to discuss at the second Social Lab Workshop.

Pilot Action 5: Training on RRI

The idea is to provide training on RRI for consortium lead partners of EC research and innovation projects. The hope is that this training will be obligatory for all lead partners, at best being integrated in the official training day organized by the EC.
This training should be the outcome of an accompanied multi-stakeholder process in order to identify barriers and chances for RRI and to develop advise on how to overcome these barriers and best take up chances.
The Pilot Action therefore approached the new ENGAGE consortium proposing a multi-stakeholder process when applying for SC5 funding. Our idea has been integrated into the proposal and is now part of that project. The pilot workshop will take place in February 2020 in Vienna.


Here you can find the brochure on RRI for Jobs and Growth produced by SL11.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Dr. Ulrike Wunderle, senior researcher at the FGS/VDW representing the scientists’ association in the EU-funded NewHoRRIzon project where she manages the Social Lab on “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”.

Social Lab Researcher: Till Weyers, researcher at the FGS/VDW and project manager for the NewHoRRIzon project.

Social Lab Manager Assistant: Veronica Eck, manager assistant at the FGS/VDW collaborating in the project management of the NewHoRRIzon project.

Social Lab Facilitator: Caroline Paulick-Thiel, strategic designer and expert in facilitating responsible innovation in cross-sectoral learning environments.