April 3, 2019

Social Lab 14: Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

Social Lab 14 brings together 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) into the Widening actions and, more generally, in research funding organizations in the countries that are the recipients of this work programme.

The Member states that are currently eligible for Widening support are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. In addition, Associated Countries can be currently eligible for Widening support are (subject to valid association agreements of third countries with Horizon 2020): Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, The Republic of North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 22-23 March 2018

Place: Madrid, Spain

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 29-30 Nov 2018

Place: Prague, Czech Republic

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 24-25 Oct 2019

Place: Novi-Sad, Serbia

Description of the workshop

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: “Introducing RRI”

This pilot action aims to introduce the RRI concept in organizations that are not aware about it and its possibilities. It also aims to diagnose the level of readiness of the organization and developing roadmaps for favoring its dissemination and provide an evaluation assessment about how successfully has been disseminated among peers and colleagues. This pilot has produced several activities of communication and dedicated events.

Pilot Action 2: Assessment of SRL for RRI

This second pilot action is oriented to develop tools that can be of help for obtaining feedback from the general public and adapting the concept of RRI to different target groups, for facilitating scientific communication and public engagement in Serbia. This pilot action will work from the development of the Societal Readiness Level tool that is planned in the New HoRRIzon project.

Pilot Action 3: Development of a European network for RRI support

The third pilot action identified in Madrid aims to prepare institutions to support the implementation of the RRI concept, increasing the level of awareness about the concept, delivering trainings, workshops and dedicated events, as well as generating linkages with RRI experts and conducting some kind of self-assessment about the concept in the host institution. This pilot is being carried out in Bulgaria and Romania.

Pilot Action 4: Dialogue skills

The las pilot action aims to improve the level of dialogue skills of researchers for improving their communicative skills but also their relationships with other departments, clients, academics, citizens and society as a whole. This pilot stems from the imperious need that has been mapped out by the constant problems of communication that happen between many departments of universities. This work on the dialogue skills will pave the way for the RRI paradigm and the pilot driver is working on contacting experts on facilitation for getting supporters and allies in this endeavor. This pilot is being carried out in Serbia.

Pilot Action 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Antonia Bierwirth is project manager at POINT, Fundación TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION, Madrid, Spain.

Social Lab Manager Assistants:
Raúl Tabarés is senior researcher at ICT Division, Fundación TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION, Derio, Spain. 

Ezekiela Arrizabalaga is project manager at POINT, Fundación TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION, Derio, Spain.

Social Lab Facilitator: Markus Hauser is Business and Health Psychologist, and Psychotherapist at Catholic Social Academy of Austria.