Category Archives: Discussion paper

Responsible Research & Innovation in Poland

Titelblatt_PolandAuthors: Agata Stasik , Alicja Dańkowska & Natalia Kobza
Year: 2020
Resume: This report has been prepared as a part of the Erasmus+ project Responsible Research and Innovation Learning aimed at developing continuous training modules for the implementation of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles. The RRI concept stands for the European strategy a) to increase social acceptance of research and innovation within the European society through inclusion of non-academic social actors at all stages of research and innovation processes, including the governance structures (public engagement) and accomplishment of ethical principles, b) to bring the European research and innovation closer to society through public engagement and ‘science with and for society’ initiatives (e.g. as citizen science), and last but not least c) to implement the principle of equality in research and innovation processes, especially with regard to gender.
This report outlines the relevance of the RRI concept and its main elements in the Polish National Innovation System. RRIL project focuses predominantly on two knowledge areas: economics and energy. It focuses on the realization of RRI principles in the context of support for the development of innovation in the diverse institutional framework: from technical universities and business schools, through start-ups accelerators and NGOs, to technology transfer centers and technology companies.

Responsible Research & Innovation in Finland

Titelblatt_Finland-1Authors: Jonna Hjelt & Elias Pekkola & Jari Stenvall & Yohannes Mehari
Year: 2020
Resume: The report presents a systemic view of the innovation systems in the energy and economy knowledge areas of Finland in general and in the Tampere region in particular. It specifically focusses on analysing how the actors on the regional stage interact and engage with the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the energy and economy knowledge areas and investigates the respective strategies and practices. The study employed qualitative content analysis and 12 participants were involved in the study that are mainly in the energy and economy innovation ecosystem in the Tampere region.
The analysis shows that the Finnish national innovation system is largely led by the investment from the public sector and with recognisable involvement of the private sectors. However, investment in research, development and innovation from both public and private research funding has been in decline for several years now due to political decisions and to changes in industrial levels.
The study indicates that the concept RRI is not well known in the Finnish innovation system in the fields of energy and economy. Research institutions, companies and public administration in Tampere region used the concept of Sustainable Development Goals of the UNO, which in some degree is similar to RRI.
The study reveals the concern to promote responsible attitudes and to resolve ethical dilemmas in research and innovation. This includes the ability to co-operate with different actors in multi-dimensional way and the understanding of the need of scientifically diverse perspectives. It is perceived the needs to broader the engagement with citizens affected and society in general. In addition, the study shows that in Finnish organisations gender equality is not perceived as a problem, in spite of the existence of highly gendered professions. Finally, it is underlined that the need for educating RRI dimensions or concept could be relevant to the students, but the best way to learn engagement, gender equality and ethics are by doing those in practice.

Responsible Research & Innovation in Catalonia

Titelblatt RRIL-IO1-Cat-1Authors: Krüger, K.; Molas. A. & Jiménez, L.
Year: 2020
Resume: The report described the Spanish and Catalan Innovation systems in general and in the knowledge fields of economy and energy. The analysis suggests a dual system: on one side, there is the triple helix subsystem with universities, research centres, technology centres and enterprises, in which other actors – from the quadruple helix – are only intervening sporadically. This sub-system is steered by a complex net of public bodies and public bodies under private law, in which the enterprises have gain relevance. Other actors including cities has low relevance in this subsystem. On the other side, there is the smart subsystem mainly formed by cities and enterprises, with a low participation of universities and research centres.

In this twofold system, the Catalan universities are developing manifold actions in the fields of social compromises, gender equality and ethics, but not integrated in the concept of responsible research and innovation. They developed this action in the frame of alternative concepts as ‘University Social Responsibility’ (USR), ‘HR Excellence in Research Award’, and the UN Sustainable Goals.

Although the step forward done by the Catalan public universities in consolidation of a triple helix system, a lack in the progress towards quadruple helix configuration with a higher participation of society in the sense of empowerment of the citizens is observed. Steps were made in the dimension of social compromise, gender equality and ethics, but not within the frame of RRI. So far, there is a considerable margin to advance in the implementation of RRI in the Spanish and Catalan R&D system, for which the development and test of training modules could be a substantial support.

Radical and extreme right wing parties and the working class in Germany.

Titelblatt-Dikussionbeitrag_PartidosAuthor: Karsten Krüger
Year: 2019
This article is only available in Spanish.

Abstract: The countries of the European Union show a clear trend towards the acceptance of radical or extreme right options such as the. In Germany, as in Spain, this political phenomenon has appeared later than in other European countries. However, a series of German studies shows that the positions and attitudes typified as belonging to the extreme right have been present in society still for a long time. These attitudes are not limited to the political spectrum of the radical and extreme right, but also standing at the centre of the society.
Consequently, the working class and the trade unions are also sensitive to this political option. In the analysis of the phenomenon of the radical and extreme right, the theory of the losers and winners of modernization has special relevance not only referring to the objective socio-economic or cultural situation, but also to the subjective perceptions of individuals (such as pessimism respect to their personal situation or the fear of loss of control).
However, in relation to socio-economic changes, this theory shows itself limited. In the best of cases, it explains why the social strata identified as the “losers” have a greater tendency towards these parties, but not why persons form other social strata chose this option. Another point that should be criticized of the winners-losers theory is that they do not sufficiently emphasize that this is a long-term phenomenon, which at least in the Federal Republic of Germany dates back to the 1950s. The irrelevance of the extreme-right political parties in parliamentary life in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s did not signify that the respective attitudes had disappeared from West German society, but were simply camouflaged as a tendency within the dominant conservative parties or remained a very minority position in the extra-parliamentary opposition. This article, which is not an empirical study but is based on a review of specialised literature, documents of the radical right party AfD and analysis of the votes of the AfD in the recent elections, speaks about this and more.

Dual studies in university higher education

Titelblatt-Dikussionbeitrag_Estudios dualesAuthors: Karsten Krüger & Alba Molas & Laureano Jiménez
Year: 2019
Abstract: One of the major expressions of this structural change is the curricular reform towards a three-cycle structure (the so-called Bologna Process) that has been implemented in European countries. One of the objectives was the higher labour orientation at the bachelor, contributing to a increase the employability of graduates, which implies a more pronounced vocational orientation. This trend is reflected in the creation of specific higher education programmes with long periods spent at the work place, such as dual studies (e.g., Germany and Austria), alternating programmes (France, ‘Alternance Programmes’), or industrial doctorates/masters programmes (Spain). In recent years, efforts to develop and implement dual studies in higher education have intensified, as shown by the cases of England, Scotland and the Basque Country (Spain).
This article will discuss the question whether the university is prepared to create dual study programs and implement them by asking:
a) Which is the role of the academic tutor and the professional mentor in companies, the two key figures to guarantee the quality of dual studies.
b) Which are the difficulties in developing dual programmes within the framework of official degrees.
These issues are addressed through work carried out in two projects of the European programme Erasmus+. After the short definition of what is understood as dual studies, we emphasize the role of academic tutor and professional mentor to exemplify the increasing complexity of managing such programmes ensuring high quality of learning and we summarise the possibilities to extend dual studies in the Spanish university system, using the experience obtained from the strategy for dual studies in the Basque Country.

Investigación e Innovación Responsable. Un elemento de la gobernanza del complejo científico-tecnológico europeo

Author: Karsten Krüger
Year: 2018
[Responsible Research and Innovation. An Element of the Gobernance of the European scientific-technology Complex]
There is only a Spanish version avaibable.
Resume: The concept ‘Responsible research and innovation’ is a new element in the steering of the European scientific-technological complex. This essay discusses this concept and frames it in the current science and innovation strategy of the European Union studying essentially relevant political documents and article about this topic.
The first chapter presents the thesis of the retreatment of the state as central steering and regulation actor in crucial societal area. The second chapter gives an overview of works about historical changes in the scientific-technological complex. It is followed by an analysis of the restructuration of the scientific and technical complex in the European Union, which is accompanied by a mayor role of enterprises and economic associations in the design and management of the public funded research. In the fourth chapter the concept RRI is presented as a potential central steering element in the scientific-technological complex. It could evolve to an instrument to accredit research organisations, regulating so the access to public research funds. Here it is argued that the concept RRI reflect that it is impossible to evaluate the scientific-technological complex based on short or midterm results, due to the complexity of the transfer process of scientific knowledge into social relevant and usable knowledge and the respective high uncertainty of the scientific research. In stead, RRI propose to evaluate the quality of the innovation process itself.