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Grounding RRI Actions to Achieve Institutional Changes in European Research Funding and Performing Organisations

Project Concept

From 2011 onwards, important investments have been made by the European Union on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). These investments produced a number of significant results: RRI tools and models have been developed; political and scientific debates have been activated on RRI and their intensity is rapidly increasing; initiatives to foster the implementation of RRI or some of its aspects have started to be promoted by many research actors; moreover, indicators have also been developed to measure the effects of RRI and its different components. The need now is to consolidate these results by the efficient diffusion of RRI, especially in some research sectors and national contexts where applications are still scarce and ineffective; to accelerate the institutional embedment of RRI in research funding and performing organizations (RFPOs) and other research-related stakeholders; and to make the impacts achieved clear and measurable.

To this end, GRACE is conceived to make a significant contribution to the effort of spreading and embedding RRI in the European Research Area (ERA) through the development of a set of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) Grounding Actions (GAs) in six RFPOs leading to fundamental RRI-oriented institutional changes during the project. The Project responds to Topic SwafS-5-2018-2019 “Grounding RRI practices in research and innovation funding and performing organisations” of Pillar “Science with and for Society”, included in Call H2020-SwafS-2018-2020. The project’s concept is based on six strategic lines:

1. The adoption of co-creation practices for the design and development of the Grounding Actions (GAs), involving both organisations with experience of institutional change and beginners

2. The development of a Roadmap for each concerned RFPO going beyond the Project lifespan so as to integrate the GAs with each other

3. The activation of a mutual learning process

4. The inclusion of GAs specifically aimed at testing new partnerships involving the concerned RFPOs

5. The adoption of a monitoring system specifically aimed at keeping a tight objective-focused approach

6. The adoption of an impact assessment approach, to oversee and monitor the project processes and impacts, applying MoRRI and SDGs indicators, and SwafS KPIs.

GRACE is composed of 8 WPs: WP1 Ethics; WP2 Management; WP3 Governance and mutual learning; WP4-5-6 GAs related to citizen engagement in science, science education and open access, and gender equality, research ethics and integrity, respectively; WP7 Evaluation and Impact Assessment of GAs; WP8 Outreach, communication, dissemination and exploitation.

The Project will favour a co-creation approach to design (under WP2) and implement (WP3 to WP5) the GAs. GAs will be developed and integrated with each other on the basis of an approach revolving around three components: tailoring, fast-tracking, long-term viewing. These three components will be feed into the six Roadmaps towards RRI (one for each implementing organisation) to be designed in the first 10 months of the GRACE in the six concerned RFPOs. Each roadmap will include: a Rapid Assessment Report of the organisation; the definition of general objectives and strands of actions; the identification of the GAs planned for the project period, GAs planned for the post-project period and GAs planned for the stabilisation period. The GAs planned for the post-project and the stabilisation periods will be revised at the end of the project period.

In general, two different kinds of partners can be distinguished in the co-creation process, the implementing partners and the co-operating partners. Implementing partners will be engaged in directly designing and implementing the grounding actions (GAs) in their own organization. Co-operating partners will work in close cooperation with the implementing partners for helping them design (under WP2) and implement (under WPs from 3 to 5) the GAs.

Project Results

  • Contributing to a greater involvement of all stakeholders in R&I, and a better and more sustainable engagement with citizens and society as a whole.
  • Contributing to one or more of the MoRRI indicators, in particular GOV2 & GOV3, and to the Sustainable Development Goals (for instance goals 4, 5, 9, 12, 16 or 17) by supporting a significant number of impactful and sustainable institutional changes in partner organizations.
  • Evaluating the activities of the project and providing evidence of societal, democratic, economic and scientific impacts of institutional changes, also providing the expected number of institutional changes, including their quality and sustainability.


01/01/2019 - 01/01/2022

SEERC Budget

91.600 €


H2020 – SWAFS


Participating Researchers

See also

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