European consortium meeting in Leiden at the end of February

SciShops consortium

Build and expand the capacity of the Science Shops ecosystem in Europe. This is the objective of the SciShops. eu project, which has met from 20 to 22 February in the city of Leiden (Netherlands) to review the activities carried out to date by dozens of researchers from 13 countries working on this project of the European Horizon 2020 programme. The meeting analysed the results of the completed work packages and the status of those in progress. The challenge is to create at least ten new university and non-university Science Shops.

Science shops are a type of structures that try to create spaces for intermediation between the scientific community and citizens. The aim is to make science and generate knowledge in a collaborative way, since problems are tackled and solutions are sought jointly among all the actors involved in the science shop: researchers, civil organizations, companies, etc.

One in three surveyed knows the science shops

The results of the bibliographic review of participatory community-based research (CBPR) were presented at the Leiden meeting, as reflected in work package 2 of the project. Specifically, the results of task 2.1 of bibliographic exploration and the results of task 2.2 were presented, analysing 15 case studies, in addition to the RRI (Responsible Research & Innovation) tools relevant to the project. On the other hand, the results of Task 2.3 were also presented, the purpose of which was to determine the knowledge on this subject held by research staff, community organizations and policy makers through a survey. A third of the respondents were found to have learned about the concept of science shops, especially social science researchers and researchers, and the positive disposition towards them was highlighted as they were considered beneficial to their own institution. The results of task 2.4 were also presented, which categorizes science shops, highlighting the great homogeneity of existing science shops and the lack of information and/or online updating of this type of organizations. Task 2.5 analysed the methodology for determining the impact of Science shops and proposed a work plan for this purpose.

As for the research work currently being carried out, there was discussion of Work Package 4, which focuses on the development of a strategy to implement this type of research and knowledge transfer from science shops to civil society. In this sense, the progress of tasks 4.1 and 4.2 were detailed in order to develop a roadmap with the methodological steps necessary to carry out this work.

On the other hand, there was also discussion of the work being carried out in Work Package 3, the main objective of which is to gather information from stakeholders and experts in this type of research (Task 3).2), conceptualise knowledge transfer events (Task 3.4), and develop events such as a summer school, co-creation events or scientific cafés (knowledge cafes). In addition, synergies were also discussed with several European projects (Task 3.1) and the working strategy and activities being carried out in Task 3.3 led by UC3M, whose main objective is to mobilise stakeholders and target groups to identify perceptions, experiences, attitudes and challenges in this type of research through interviews and surveys. The next activities to be developed within the framework of the project were also discussed, as well as attendance at the next congresses related to the topic. Finally, special emphasis was placed on the dissemination work package 7 of the activities carried out in the project, in which different dissemination strategies were analysed, as well as identifying the strengths and future challenges of the project.

SciShops. eu is a project of the call H2020-SwafS-2016-17, within the programme “Science with and for Society” (SwafS), belonging to Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Innovation of the European Union (GA nº 741657). This research consortium, coordinated by the Austrian company SYNYO, involves 18 institutions from 13 countries and universities such as Brescia (Italy), the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), Hohenheim (Germany), Leiden (The Netherlands), Oxford (Great Britain) and the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (Romania). In addition, the research institute Bay Zoltan (Hungary), the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (Spain), Handelsblatt (Germany), the Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), the Institute for Social Innovation of Lithuania are also participating, KPMG (Cyprus), the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy Research (Germany), the organisations Scico Cyprus (Cyprus) and Vetenskap & Allmänhet (Sweden) and the National Union of Students in Europe (Belgium).

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