The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities plays a central role in the European project HEIRRI: Higher Education Institutions & Responsible Research and Innovation, which aims to integrate the concept of “Responsible Research and Innovation”, or RRI, into the science and engineering degrees, mainly focusing on universities and other higher education institutions (HEI).
The concept of “Responsible Research and Innovation”, or RRI, implies the alignment of R+D+I, in all its phases, with the needs, values and expectations of society. The European Commission is very actively fostering the knowledge and practical implementation of RRI, focusing its actions on 6 key axes: public engagement; science ethics; science education; gender equality; open access; and science governance.
The HEIRRI consortium is coordinated by Universitat Pompeu Fabra; the rest of the consortium is composed of the University of Aarhus (Denmark), the University of Bergen (Norway), the University of Split (Croatia), the Institute for Advanced Studies (Austria), “la Caixa” Foundation (Barcelona, Spain), the company Innovatec (Madrid, Spain), the European network of science centres and museums ECSITE (with more than 400 institutions from 50 countries) and ACUP, the Catalan Association of Public Universities, which chairs GUNI, the Global University Network for Innovation (208 universities from 78 countries).
The HEIRRI project is one of the first initiatives that Horizon2020 sets in motion in order to integrate RRI into university education. Its aim is to ensure that future science and engineering professionals (and from other related fields) incorporate RRI in their activity.
Outcome of the project
The project will develop a strategic plan with the following actions for:
- State of the Art analysis and detection of practical cases and best practice examples.
- Design of teaching programmes at different university levels (undergraduate, postgraduate, phD, summer courses and MOOC).
- Elaboration of training material with the following characteristics: multimedia, created through collaborative platforms, focused on the PBL system (Problem-based Learning) and publicly available in open access.
- Implementation of the materials and courses in 10 pilot experiences in Europe (3 of which will be done in collaboration between a university and a science museum of the same city).
- HEIRRI Forum: actions to encourage the debate on the need to integrate RRI and to advance towards the change that it implies. The Forum includes two international conferences (offline) and an online actions programme.
- Actions for the internationalization of the project and the elaborated material (international university meetings, fellowships, etc).
- Communication and evaluation actions.