March 15, 2019

Social Lab 7: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Societal Challenges

Description of health programme

With a budget of over 7.4 billion Euros, Health is one of the largest programmes within Horizon 2020. Funding health research is framed as an investment in “better health for all.” It includes supporting older people staying active and independent, the development of safer and more effective interventions as well as the sustainability of healthcare systems. 

Responsibility in healthcare research and innovation

The concept of responsibility in health research has a long history and has traditionally been well established in terms of research ethics (ethical approval, informed consent and data protection). Gender aspects are also well established at a formal level, but on a practical level are often not considered relevant or may merely cover gender balance in research teams, rather than differences in men and women in terms of needs and preferences and responses to treatment.  There is good awareness of public engagement, but mostly on the level of organisations (such as patient organisations) rather than at individual patient or citizen level. The involvement of other stakeholders is also often lacking. Open access is present to some extent and is gradually increasing, e.g. through the need to make information on clinical trials available in registers. Science education plays a minor role. There is little concern for environmental sustainability and measures for long-term economic sustainability are not always included.

Social lab aspirations

We are hoping to improve the uptake of responsibility in research and innovation by contributing to an understanding of what exactly it entails in healthcare and by experimenting with approaches to support such uptake. The Social Lab brings together researchers, civil society and advocacy representatives, clinical organisations and funders.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 26 and 27 June 2018

Place: Frankfurt, Germany

Description of the workshop

Worshop 2

Date: 22 and 23 November 2018

Place: Milan, Italy

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 14 and 15 May 2019

Place: Stockholm, Sweden

Description of the workshop

Workshop 4

Date: 4 & 5 December 2019

Venue: Tunis, Tunisia

Core participant team

Hichem ben Hassine, Deborah Bertorello, Tanja Bratan, Bernhard Bührlen, Kristine Debruyne, Malcolm Fisk, Ilenia Gheno, Sissy Kolyva, Ralf Lindner, Lucia Monaco, Fredrik Öhrn, Signe Pedersen, Philine Warnke, Paola Zaratin.

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: Enriching funding mechanisms

This pilot aims to identify and share good practices of responsible funding. For instance, a stronger involvement of representatives from different stakeholder groups and from the general population within research funding mechanisms might help widening the impact of research beyond the group of persons concerned by a particular disease.

Pilot Action 2: Patient involvement in clinical service design

The aim of this pilot action is to facilitate mutual learning within two very different contexts by applying elements of the innovative model of patient/citizen involvement in service design at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden to a hospital in Athens, Greece.

Pilot Action 3: Good practices of co-creation

Within this pilot action, characteristics of successful initiatives and instruments for engaging patients and citizens in agenda setting, research and innovation are identified. The H2020 funded MULTI-ACT project is represented through two SL participants and the two projects have entered a mutually beneficial partnership.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Tanja Bratan, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Social Lab Facilitator: Philine Warnke, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Social Lab Advisor: Ralf Lindner, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany.