In early spring 2021, TeRRItoria released five videos coming from the five Transformative Experiments carried out in the selected European territories – Region of Central Macedonia (Greece), Region of Emilia Romagna (Italy), Region of Trøndelag (Norway), Region of North-East (Romania), and Municipality of Gabrovo (Bulgaria). The goal of these videos is to explain to various target audiences the objectives and rationale of the project, as well as to present aspects of the Transformative Experiments. The five videos outlined by explaining their methodologies, current achievements, setbacks dealt with, and planned actions for the future.
North East-Romania: developing a consultative tool for agenda setting in local mountain communities
The specific focus of the Transformative Experiment in North East Romania is to increase the degree of involvement of local communities in the decision regarding investments for innovation in the areas where they live. In order to reach this goal, a consultative tool will be developed to identify and prioritise innovation needs in the target communities following the model of the focus groups of the entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) organised by the ADR Nord-Est, the Regional Development Agency of the region. In addition, a brokerage platform for innovation will be created as a bridge between local communities (potential beneficiaries of innovation), innovation facilitators, and research organisations (the generators of innovations). Thanks to this platform, the research institutes should be able to adapt their research topics to the needs of the mountain communities involved in the experiment, such as Bazinul Dornelor and Ceahlău.
By the end of TeRRItoria in early 2022, ADR Nord-Est would like to have at least one ongoing RRI brokerage contract/transaction as result of the consultive tool and platform. Basically, a concrete example of exchange between innovation demand initiators and innovation providers, resulting in a collaborative activity.
Emilia Romagna: inserting RRI in RIS3
By using Science Education and Public Engagement, the region of Emilia Romagna expects to develop a methodology on how to include RRI keys in the formulation of its regional strategy for research and innovation – RIS3. With science education, the region will combine research and training policies to understand how certain professional profiles can be attracted to enhance training actors in the process of defining and monitoring RIS3. With public engagement, the region will create a procedure that allows the opening up of RIS3 phases (from design to monitoring) to social stakeholders allowing stable dialogue with civil society and the people they represent.
Municipality of Gabrovo: engaging the public in a plan for innovation
Gabrovo’s innovation eco-system lacks public engagement regarding Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3). This leads to insufficient knowledge and weak initiatives on the part of community actors regarding generating and implementing innovative solutions relevant to the territory.
With the realization of a transformative experiment, the RRI notion will be introduced in the territory among local stakeholders. This will lead to positive change in the institutions, involved in the experiment, making them inclusive and responsive to territorial needs. Regarding the participants in the co-working process, their views and ideas will be voiced and shared, their potential realised and their knowledge deepened. New links and relations will be formed in the community and new territory-related capacities developed. The R&I concept will be brought closer to people and their territory. The main local actors will become more sensitive and responsive to the societal needs and considerate to the existing territorial reality.
Central Macedonia: Regional Gender Equality Plan
The main challenge of the transformative experiment in RCM is to give a boost to the dialogue within the R&I ecosystems towards a gender equality approach. The experiment will be based on the adoption of Territorial RRI measures in order to trigger an institutional change within the organisations of the regional stakeholders involved.
A sub-challenge is also to better understand how the current environment has been formed due to the brain-drain of ICT experts and the limited involvement of women in STEM, while, in parallel, investments in high technology are becoming more noticeably present in the territory. Some concrete actions and strategies for facing the aforementioned challenges and in relation to the regional transformative experiment refer to developing a Gender Equality Plan (GEP), comprised of the following ‘core’ steps:
- Conducting impact assessment / audits of procedures and practices (resembling self and/or peer assessments) to identify gender bias in the organizations/institutions that are going to participate in the GEPs;
- Identifying innovative strategies to address and correct any gender bias;
- Setting targets and proposing monitoring progress via indicators.
Actors involved in the GEP shall come from all categories of the Quadruple Helix Model: academia/research actors, business/industry, policy actors and citizen representatives (e.g. NGOs working on gender issues).
Trøndelag establishing permanent dialogue
This video looks at the work being carried out in the Norwegian county of Trøndelag in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project TeRRItoria. Communities in more peripheral areas of this region are suffering brain drain and losing young inhabitants to the city and regional centre, Trondheim. This experiment aims to look into ways cities can foster meaningful exchanges between urban universities and less populated areas, for example by facilitating linkages between higher education institutes and further-out communities. In this video, Thomas Berker of the local university explains the challenge faced and addresses what “reterritorialisation” (i.e. strengthening the bonds between citizens and the territory where they live) can look like and how they aim to contribute to it.
Speaker – Thomas Berker (Head of Centre for Technology and Society, Norwegian University of Science and Technology).