Mistra Urban Futures, the Swedish centre for sustainable urban development, has won the first European Foundations Award for Responsible Research and Innovation (EFARRI). The Award recognises research projects that have successfully incorporated RRI practices that align research with the needs of society and actively contribute towards the development of a smart, inclusive and sustainable society.
The Swedish centre was nominated was for its trans-disciplinary approach that uses reflective co-creation and co-production of knowledge to address sustainable urban development issues. It shares its award with two other projects, the Italian water management project IMRR and Spanish miCROWDscopy. A scientific jury selected the winners from more than 200 applications. The winners share a €20,000 prize to support further work in their fields.
At the award ceremony on 21 November in Brussels, Professor Jeroen van den Hoven from Delft University of Technology, chair of the EFARRI jury, emphasised the unique nature of this award: “Not only the laureates, but many of the applications we received show a creative approach to tackling a societal challenge by implementing RRI in their daily research practices. They set an example for RRI because of their original and deeply embedded approaches, allowing them to anticipate potential implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation in their projects.”
Upon receiving the award, Jan Riises, Manager for Engagement at Mistra Urban Futures said: “We are very proud and happy that the co-production and inclusion of many stakeholders that is the hallmark of Mistra Urban Futures was recognised by both the European Foundations and the RRI community. It means a lot to us in our efforts to explain the significance and necessity of co-creation of new knowledge for sustainable development.”
Karin Larsdotter, Manager of the Swedish RRI hub at VA (Public & Science), commented: “We are delighted that a Swedish organisation has been recognised for its innovative RRI practices. Mistra Urban Futures is an inspiring example of how societal challenges can be tackled through active collaboration between researchers and practitioners, as well as other stakeholders, such as business, interest groups and the general public, to find new insights and locally appropriate solutions.”
The EFARRI is a joint initiative by the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium), “la Caixa” Foundation (Spain), Fondazione Cariplo (Italy), Lundbeck Foundation (Denmark), the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany) and the European Foundation Centre Research Forum.
For more information about the aims of the award, the selection process and the finalists see www.efarri.eu