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HEIRRI Conference about RRI education in University

Under the subject “Teaching Responsible Research and Innovation at University”, the conference gathered more than 150 people from all over the world. Lecturers and attendees discussed about how research and innovation should respond to the needs of society and how universities can contribute towards a responsible scientific education

conference participants
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The first conference of the European project HEIRRI (Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation), entitled “Teaching Responsible Research and Innovation at University”, gathered on March 18th more than 150 people from all over the world to discuss about the integration of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in university education. Professionals from the Research, Development and Innovation system, teaching staff from universities, members of the scientific community and academia, representatives from science centres and museums and scientific communication associations, as well as members from public institutions, the industry and civil society organizations, actively participated in the conference to contribute to the ongoing dialogue.

The day was structured with several transdisciplinary panels and practical workshops. There had also been two keynote lectures: to open the conference, Jacqueline Broerse (UV Athena Institute Amsterdam) talked about the experience at her pioneer centre in this topic and about the challenges identified during the process to incorporate RRI in the university system. To close the day, John Goddard (Newcastle University) presented the concept of Civic University and how it can contribute to a more democratic education.

The first HEIRRI Conference improved the visibility of the project but most importantly it made possible to hear the voice of all participants and use the rich debate generated too directly contribute to the project and improve its implementation. The shared experiences of people attending from more than 20 countries worldwide (12 from Europe) are priceless for the better development of the project.

The congress was organized by “la Caixa” Foundation, of the members of the HEIRRI consortium. This European H2020 initiative is led by Pompeu Fabra University together with 8 more institutions: the aforementioned “la Caixa” Foundation, Bergen University, University of Aarhus, University of Split, the Institute for Advanced Studies of Vienna, the European network of science centres and museums Ecsite, the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) and the private company Innovatec. The whole HEIRRI group met on the day previous to the Conference in a Consortium meeting, on Thursday 17th of March, to hold the third Consortium meeting. Representatives of all the institutions gathered at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) to talk about the several ongoing working lines, such as the State of the Art review, the material design, communication and Forum Online participation and the internationalisation of actions performed. The HEIRRI consortium is diverse and well-balanced, and from its very start all its members have been in a positive working tune with each other.