FutuRRI: Futurizing Responsible Research and Innovation for a Sustainable Smart Specialization Strategy
Emilia-Romagna’s territorial experiment is coming to an end after an intensive six-month period of analyzing models and engaging local stakeholders. ART-ER organized focus groups and interviews with more than 50 stakeholders in the period of June-October; this allowed the organization to produce guidelines on how to implement Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) with particular attention to inclusive governance models and public engagement. The idea at the basis of the guidelines were to support all the actors dealing with funding Research and Innovation (R&I) projects in getting basic information on how to implement RRI dimensions and priorities within the funding scheme. A specific section of the guidelines is dedicated to measuring and monitoring issues, introducing theory of change as an interesting tool to do ex-ante evaluation of possible impacts that a project can reach.
Focus groups were useful to identify some patterns to change regional grant schemes dedicated to R&I in order to allow a wider involvement of citizens and civil society in designing R&I collaborative projects. However, this was not enough to reach a real co-design of a policy scheme or experimental grant. After scanning several tools and methodologies used in other European projects working on RRI implementation at different levels (among which SISCODE, SEERRI, TRANSFORM, CHERRIES, RRI Practice, RiConfigure and others) ART-ER decided to engage two external consultants to use innovative techniques to work on the policy co-design.
TeRRItoria’s experiment in Emilia-Romagna is ongoing through the implementation of Future and Design Thinking techniques: 12 stakeholders are involved in representing the quadruple helix in co-designing an experimental grant on Health and Wellbeing challenges. In this moment, we are approaching 4 archetype models to design potential scenarios. In January, we will discuss scenarios and perspectives with regional civil servants working on the design of policy measures. This experiment will then be useful in the future to co-design other experimental grants through the funds which will be available through the National Resilience and Recovery Plan.