About the project

Challenges and partners

Why TeRRItoria RRI?

Territorial responsible research and innovation through the involvement of local R&I actors


TeRRItoria is a Horizon 2020 project which aims to position regions and local authorities as places for science governance, education, public engagement, ethics, and open access.


TeRRItoria operates in a context of transition in European society, which is often critical. For territorial governance, this shift and transition can be a challenge to the usual strategies and measures fostering economic development and social cohesion.


  • the authority of science is decreasing while the need for science to confront our world’s challenges is increasing;
  • the challenges of globalisation are difficult to manage at the local level ( e.g. delocalisation of industry, local climate change, digitalization, migration flows).


In this context of contestation and transition, the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and by extension the search for Territorial RRI may be a way of enabling local and regional governance actors to deal with such an era of change.

Science governance, education, ethics, public engagement, open access, and gender are the 6 dimensions exploring the concept’s applicability to territorial governance.

RRI is a concept which puts society at the centre of research and science. It is the acknowledgment that society is critical to the success of scientific endeavour and scientific endeavour is critical to the success of society. It is about aligning scientific research (the way it is carried out and its outcomes) with societal values, needs, and expectations.

The 6 ways or dimensions in which RRI is explored (RRI keys) are: ethical dimensions, societal engagement, gender equality, open access/science and science education, and governance. 

What does RRI have to do with regions?

By linking RRI to regions and territorial governance, the project assumes that the competitiveness of European territories and regions will be fostered.

Who we are

TeRRItoria’s project partners are a combination of actors working territorially in regions and/or with the 6 RRI dimensions.

ESF – European Science Foundation (France)
SEERC – South East European Research Center (Greece) 
K&I – Knowledge and Innovation Srls  (Italy)
AU – Aarhus University (Denmark)
RCM – Region of Central Macedonia (Greece)
NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
ARC Fund – Applied Research and Communications Fund (Bulgaria)
ART-ER – Attractiveness Research Territory (Italy)
EURADA – European Association of Development Agencies (Belgium)
DBT – Danish Board of Technology Foundation (Denmark)
Municipality of Gabrovo (Bulgaria)
Trøndelag County Council (Norway)
ADR North Est – North East Regional Development Agency (Romania)  

Key Facts

Why Territorial RRI

Territoria project will contribute to the building of territorial RRI. In turn, this matching and fusing together of research and innovation strategies governance with the multiple keys of societally conscious and sensitive considerations for science will help ensure that societal expectations of science match regional governance realities.

Smart Specialisation Strategies is focused and was introduced by the European Union’s Cohesion Policy for the enhancement of decision making and stakeholder involvement in innovation policies at the regional and national levels. In this framework, the use of RRI keys and approach might be very relevant in priority setting decision making and investments processes and implementation phase in the field of innovation and research, which imply a multi stakeholders approach.


In the context of growing scepticism in science, its use and authority diminishing, Smart Specialisation Strategies offer a space an new realm in which questions of society can be attached to questions of science.