Let’s shop together! VA to help Science Shops develop across Europe

SciShops is a new EU-funded Horizon 2020 project that will expand the Science shop ecosystem in Europe. VA (Public & Science) is one of 18 European partners in this three-year project, which officially started at a kick-off meeting in Vienna in September 2017.

Science shops are a model of community-based research that facilitates research and knowledge transfer with and for society. The initial idea behind Science shops was to provide a specific location at a university where citizens and community groups could collaborate directly with researchers to help solve real issues at local and regional levels.

The aim of the new project is to build on the capacity of existing Science shops in Europe, exploring ways that different types of research organisations, such as research SMEs, research institutes, large enterprises, NGOs and universities, can develop sustainable Science shops.

The project will develop guidelines, best practices and training to help organisations wishing to set up Science shops as well as a networking and knowledge sharing platform and twinning scheme. In addition, ten new Science shops will be established during the project.

VA brings a range of expertise and experience to the project, including its knowledge of responsible research and innovation processes (RRI), which are critical to this participatory multi-actor approach. VA is also a member of the international Science shops network, Living Knowledge.

VA’s role in the project includes gathering knowledge about existing best practices and stakeholders via surveys and case studies. It will also be exploring opportunities to promote the Science shop concept in Sweden and assisting with communications and dissemination activity.

There are no official Science shops in Sweden. A number of VA’s members have expressed an interest in the concept however, and VA is keen to hear from Swedish research organisations interested in exploring opportunities offered by the EU project.

“The European Commission, through the Horizon 2020 programme “Science with and for Society”, supports participatory research and innovation via Science Shops in order to positively impact the co-creation of solutions to real world problems. It believes that the process of engaging with society strengthens both the research process and its outcomes. It also leads to improved teaching and learning methods in academia, which benefits both students and their teachers,” said Colombe Warin the European Commission’s Project Officer for the SciShops project.

If you are interested in finding out more about the SciShops project, please contact Helen Garrison or Maria Hagardt at VA.

SciShops is a 30 month project that runs from September 2017 to February 2020 and is funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.

SciShops

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