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Science with and for Society

The aim of the Horizon 2020 Programme for Science with and for Society is “to build effective co-operation between science and society, to recruit new talent for science and to pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility”. Activities are intended to build capacities and develop innovative ways of connecting science to society; make science more attractive (especially to young people); raise the appetite of society for science and innovation; and open up further research and innovation activities.

Science with and for Society allows all societal actors (for example researchers, citizens, policy makers, business and third sector organisations) to work together during the whole research and innovation process to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society. This approach to research and innovation is termed Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

In practice, RRI consists of designing and implementing R&I policy that will a) engage society more broadly in its research and innovation activities, b) increase access to scientific results, c) ensure gender equality in both the research process and research content, d) take account of the ethics dimension, and e) promote formal and informal science education.

Most activities will require multi-stakeholder consortia which would include Social Sciences, Humanities, SMEs and others (e.g. Museums, Schools and Colleges, creative industries). Topics are based around four themes:

  • Accelerating and catalysing processes of institutional change
  • Stepping up support to Gender Equality in Research and Innovation policy
  • Building the territorial dimension of SwafS partnerships
  • Exploring and supporting citizen science
  • Building the knowledge base for SwafS

In their structure and processes, consortia should look as much as possible for interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research and innovation, and due to the societal focus involve experts in the fields of the social and economic sciences and humanities. Consortia should aim to involve SMEs in research and innovation and broader private sector participation. They should look to maximise the engagement of private social actors, such as civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and social entrepreneurs. All topics are open to international cooperation.

This page was last updated 20 December 2017.


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