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BACKGROUND: Promoting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a major strategy of the "Science with and for Society" work program of the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. RRI aims to achieve a better alignment of research and innovation with the values, needs, and expectations of society. The RRI strategy includes the "keys" of public engagement, open access, gender, ethics, and science education. The Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIOSciences (STARBIOS2) project promotes RRI in 6 European research institutions and universities from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Poland, and the United Kingdom, in partnership with a further 6 institutions from Brazil, Denmark, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. OBJECTIVE: The project aims to attain RRI structural change in 6 European institutions by implementing action plans (APs) and developing APs for 3 non-European institutions active in the field of biosciences; use the implementation of APs as a learning process with a view to developing a set of guidelines on the implementation of RRI; and develop a sustainable model for RRI in biosciences. METHODS: The project comprises interrelated research and implementation designed to achieve the aforementioned specific objectives. The project is organized into 6 core work packages and 5 supporting work packages. The core work packages deal with the implementation of institutional APs in 6 European institutions based on the structural change activation model. The supporting work packages include technical assistance, learning process on RRI-oriented structural change, monitoring and assessment, communication and dissemination, and project management. RESULTS: The project is funded by Horizon 2020 and will run for 4 years (May 2016-April 2020). As of June 2018, the initial phase has been completed. The participating institutions have developed and approved APs and commenced their implementation. An observation tool has been launched by the Technical Assistance Team to collect information from the implementation of APs; the Evaluation & Assessment team has started monitoring the advancement of the project. As part of the communication and dissemination strategy, a project website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account have been launched and are updated periodically. The International Scientific Advisory Committee has been formed to advise on the reporting and dissemination of the project's results. CONCLUSIONS: In the short term, we anticipate that the project will have a considerable impact on the organizational processes and structures, improving the RRI uptake in the participating institutions. In the medium term, we expect to make RRI-oriented organizational change scalable across Europe by developing guidelines on RRI implementation and an RRI model in biosciences. In the long term, we expect that the project would help increase the ability of research institutions to make discoveries and innovations in better alignment with societal needs and values. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/11745.

Original publication




Journal article


JMIR Res Protoc

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Horizon 2020, action plans, ethics, gender, guidelines, institutional change, model for RRI in biosciences, open access, patient involvement, public engagement, responsible research and innovation, science education, science with and for Society, structural change