Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIOSciences (STARBIOS2): Protocol for a Horizon 2020 funded European multi-centre project to promote Responsible Research and Innovation (Preprint)
BACKGROUND Promoting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a major strategy of the "Science with and for Society" work programme of the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. RRI aims to achieve a better alignment of research and innovation with the values, needs, and expectations of society. The RRI strategy includes the "keys" of public engagement, open access, gender, ethics, and science education. The STARBIOS2 project promotes RRI in six
... an research institutions and universities from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Poland, and the United Kingdom, working in partnership with a further six institutions from Brazil, Denmark, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. OBJECTIVE The project has three specific objectives: 1) to attain RRI structural change in six European institutions through the implementation of action plans and to develop action plans for three non-European institutions active in the field of biosciences; 2) to use the implementation of action plans as a learning process with a view to developing a set of guidelines on the implementation of RRI; 3) to develop a sustainable model for RRI in biosciences. METHODS The project consists of inter-related research and implementation designed to achieve the aforementioned specific objectives. The project is organised into six core work packages and five supporting work packages. The core work packages deal with the implementation of institutional action plans in five European institutions based on the structural change activation model. The supporting work packages include technical assistance; learning process on RRI-oriented structural change; monitoring and assessment; communication and dissemination; and project management. RESULTS The project has received funding from Horizon 2020 and runs for four years from May 2016 to April 2020. As of June 2018, the initial planning phase has been completed. The participating institutions have developed and approved action plans, and commenced their implementation. An observation tool has been launched by the Technical Assistance Team to collect information from the implementation of action plans and the Evaluation & Assessment team has started to monitor the advancement of the project. As part of the communication and dissemination strategy, a project website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account have been launched and are updated periodically. The International Scientific Advisory Committee has been formed to advise on the reporting and dissemination of the project's results. CONCLUSIONS In the short term, we anticipate that the project will have a significant impact on the organisational processes and structures improving the uptake of RRI in the participating institutions. In the medium term, we expect to make RRI-oriented organisational change scalable across Europe through the development of guidelines on the implementation of RRI and a model for RRI in the biosciences. In the long term, we expect that the project will help to increase the ability of research institutions to make discoveries and innovations in better alignment with societal needs and values.