December 17, 2018

Social Lab 8: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy (FOOD)

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Societal Challenges

Description of FOOD Programme

The FOOD Programme is an approximately EUR 3.7 billion programme of the EC Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation (R&I) framework programme 8 (FP8). The FOOD programme aspires: “to secure sufficient supplies of safe, healthy and high-quality food and other bio-based products, by developing productive,sustainable and resource-efficient primary production systems, fostering related ecosystem services and the recovery of biological diversity, alongside competitive and low-carbon supply, processing and marketing chains.”

Potential benefits of RRI for FOOD Programme Participants

The FOOD programme stands to benefit from RRI practices of public and stakeholder engagement to support what the EC terms “inclusive innovation” supported by “multi-actor approaches” to “ensure the necessary cross-fertilising interactions between researchers, businesses,farmers/producers, advisors and end-users.” Issues of gender inequality are closely related to social and technical dimensions of food systems, from production to consumption and beyond. The resources, knowledge, cultures, and technologies associated with FOOD touch people’s lives multiple times per day, making science education and science literacy aspects of RRI critical to the collaborative development of visions for resource sustainability. The scale of system-wide transformations implicated by FOOD R&I mean that Open to the World approaches, supported by Open Science initiatives could support effective coordination and collective action. Finally, the need for local, regional, national, and international action associated with food-resource and bio-based economy sustainability makes attention to governance vital for FOOD programming to meaningfully contribute to long-lived and effective transformation supported by research and innovation.

Social Lab Aspirations

Social Lab 8 mobilizes a range of people associated with FOOD from across Europe, including national research managers, professors, labour and industry representatives, and policy officials. Participants share a common mission to learn about and enhance responsible research and innovation in FOOD R&I.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 30-31 May 2018

Place: Tromsø, Norway

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 19 & 20 February 2019

Place: Tromsø, Norway

Overview of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date and place: tbc

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: Incentives and Evaluation of Public Engagement and Multi-Actor Approaches

This pilot action aims to help FOOD projects and stakeholders better understand types of public engagement and multi-actor approaches and thus enhance researcher, publics, and stakeholder interactions for FOOD R&I.

Pilot Action 2: Responsible Research and Innovation: Literacy and Leadership Training Suite

Social Lab 8 aspires to develop adaptable, tailor-made experiential learning opportunities for FOOD programme stakeholders. The SL8 will coordinate with Social Labs working on similar actions.

Pilot Action 3: Evaluating and Rewarding Research Communication

This pilot action will seek to identify and build Lab participant capacities with additional ways to evaluate and reward research communication (i.e., beyond peer-reviewed journals).

Pilot Action 4: Gender Equality to Balance Personal, Family, and Professional Lives

This pilot action will draw on resources developed by FP7 and FP8 programmes to increase awareness of gender equality issues and to identify practices for improving the balance between professional and personal lives of people involved in R&I.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Michael Bernstein, Scientist, GenØk, Tromsø, Norway

Social Lab Facilitator: Fern Wickson, Senior Scientist, GenØk, Tromsø, Norway