Reinforcing the Role of Universities in Local Innovation Systems: Insights from the CATALISI 4th Webinar

The CATALISI project continues to drive transformative change in higher education institutions, and its 4th webinar is no exception. Titled “Reinforcing the Role of Universities in Local Innovation Systems,” this event featured insights from Roberto San Salvador del Valle, Director of Deusto Cities Lab Chair, who shared thoughts and proposals on the UniverCity concept, an innovation ecosystem that blends technological innovation and human values.

Roberto highlighted the importance of moving beyond purely economic innovation. He emphasized the need for societal and democratic values in innovation to address the pressing global challenges we face today. This approach aligns perfectly with the CATALISI project’s objectives of fostering dynamic and collaborative environments for knowledge-sharing and institutional transformation.

Universities as Beacons of Innovation

Roberto’s message is clear: universities must serve as beacons of innovation, making conscious choices about areas to innovate that will genuinely benefit local communities. With their unique insights into their ecosystems, universities are in a prime position to understand and leverage their impact on cities and territories.

The CATALISI project supports this vision by facilitating knowledge-sharing, infrastructure development, and resource mobilization among higher education institutions (HEIs). By encouraging the dissemination of acquired knowledge and best practices, CATALISI promotes institutional transformations that are not only impactful but also sustainable.

 

For those who missed the live webinar, there’s good news. The recording is available on the CATALISI Learning Hub repository. This resource will provide valuable insights and guidance for HEIs looking to enhance their role in local innovation systems.

Stay tuned to the CATALISI Learning Hub for more updates and resources.

Second Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) workshop at Amsterdam UMC

On April 11th, the CATALISI Amsterdam UMC team organised a Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) event in Amsterdam. With over 70 attendees from various universities across Europe, the workshop aimed at sharing knowledge and ideas on improving the Responsible Conduct of Research and stimulating a positive research culture.

Hosted by the Amsterdam UMC project leader, Miriam van Loon, the day started with an inspiring presentation by Mariëtte van den Hoven on instruments and initiatives for stimulating a positive research culture. Then Krishma Labib elaborated on the SOP4sRI projected more specifically. Additionally, Nathalie Trifkovic, policymaker and scientific integrity coordinator at the Vrije Universiteit, presented on the research culture policy at the university.

After sharing our knowledge, during the co-creation sessions we explored participants’ thoughts and international perspectives on how to improve research culture. Participants were asked to develop a metaphor for explaining research culture. It was interesting to see how defining research culture sparked many different interpretations, ranging from comparing research culture to an ecosystem or a puzzle, to even comparing research culture with the weather in the Netherlands…

An interactive poster session on different topics related to responsible conduct of research further stimulated the further exchange of both existing expertise and new ideas.

The day ended with a closing lecture by emeritus professor Lex Bouter, providing renewing insights into the challenges of scientific misconduct, such as papermills.

Overall, feedback showed that participants found the workshop to be very informative and inspiring, making them (even more) motivated to further stimulate a positive research culture in their own institutions and throughout Europe.  

The need of effective communication and dissemination in European Projects

The European Commission defines communication as the act of informing, promoting, and communicating activities, while dissemination involves making knowledge and results publicly available free-of-charge. 

Communication, dissemination, and exploitation are not just abstract concepts but are mandated legal obligations under Article 17 of the Horizon Europe Grant Agreement. This requirement underscores the critical importance of ensuring that scientific knowledge and research findings are shared widely and made accessible to all.

But why is this obligation so crucial? 

Historically, the field of science has been perceived as elitist, furthermore, the use of complex scientific jargon have often acted as barriers, preventing broader access to information and perpetuating cycles of exclusion. In the past, science communication was characterised by a one-way exchange, where scholars gathered in exclusive circles to discuss advancements, and the complexity of one’s discourse was sometimes equated with intelligence.  

Scientific developments and challenges are often global, rapidly evolving, and uncertain. This landscape paves the way for pseudoscience and misinformation, posing significant challenges to the dissemination of accurate scientific knowledge. 

The digital revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic have transformed the communication of science with a growing recognition of the need for inclusive communication practices that engage diverse audiences and foster accessibility for all. 

It is crucial to make scientific information accessible to all. People should feel empowered and confident to engage with scientific information and feel competent enough to understand the knowledge. Promoting scientific literacy among the general public can empower individuals to critically evaluate information and distinguish between credible scientific sources and pseudoscience. Moreover, science communication should be tailored to the social context of different countries, empowering citizens to navigate scientific knowledge independently. 

To address the communication crisis, scientists must actively engage in public discourse and collaborate with communication professionals. Collaborating with media outlets, educational institutions, and community organisations can amplify the reach of accurate scientific information and foster a culture of science engagement. 

Open science principles, including making research freely available and fostering accurate and accountable scientific communities, are essential. 

 

The CATALISI project serves as a bridge connecting the realms of research and innovation with the broader public sphere. Through its commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and alignment with market demands, CATALISI not only advances scientific endeavors but also ensures that the benefits of research reach the wider community.  

By fostering collaborative partnerships and innovative communication strategies, CATALISI facilitates the dissemination of accurate scientific information to the public, thereby bridging the gap between scientific developments and societal needs. In an era where effective communication is paramount, CATALISI’s efforts contribute to building public trust in science and promoting informed decision-making. Furthermore, by empowering diverse stakeholders to actively engage in the research process, CATALISI paves the way for a more inclusive and impactful approach to research and innovation. 

 

Further read:

Improving Research Careers: Insights from the Third CATALISI Webinar

As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance research and innovation in universities and support the career development of students and professionals, the CATALISI project hosted its third webinar titled “Recognition of Qualifications in Research Careers: Skills in Research and Beyond.” This webinar is part of a series aimed at bolstering research departments and careers.

One of the key initiatives of the CATALISI project is the creation of a free repository of resources to assist universities and individuals in accessing training materials. These resources are designed to empower participants to enhance their reseach skills at their own pace and convenience.

All materials, including recordings of past webinars, are readily available on the CATALISI website: The Learning Hub.

In our latest webinar, we were privileged to have two distinguished speakers share their expertise with us. Erica Feliziani, Research Advisor at the University of Macerata, delved into the essential skills and training required for European research managers, drawing insights from the CARDEA project.

Surveys conducted as part of this project underscored the importance of a diverse skill set, with a particular emphasis on soft skills. Furthermore, there was a notable gap in perceived training opportunities, indicating a preference for practical and flexible training approaches.

In response to these findings, CATALISI is actively developing flexible and practical training programs tailored to the needs identified in the surveys. We invite all stakeholders to participate in shaping these initiatives and driving positive change in research management.

 

Our second speaker, Rrap Kryeziu, a senior consultant at EY, shed light on a predictive study focusing on the soft skills researchers will need to thrive in the labor market. Through interviews with over 45 vice-rectors, deans, and 1700 PhD students across Europe, valuable insights were gathered. The survey results, reflecting self-assessment scores by PhD students on various research competencies, identified areas where improvement is desired.

This predictive study will be a valuable addition to CATALISI’s deliverables and will be accessible to everyone after the summer. We encourage all stakeholders to stay tuned for further insights into the labor market and research competencies.

By collaborating and leveraging our collective expertise, we can foster a more dynamic and resilient research ecosystem, ultimately driving innovation and societal impact. Together, let’s shape the future of research and innovation.

CATALISI second Webinar “Mainstreaming of Open Science and Digitization of Research”.

The second Webinar was hosted by EY on February 8th: Mainstreaming of Open Science and Digitization of Research”.

The objectives of the webinar include:
🔹 Sharing best practices and research findings on Open Science
🔹 Fostering dialogues and collaboration among experts in this sector
🔹 Identifying Multilingualism as a Catalyst for Open Science

We had the pleasure to count on two incredible speakers:
Tycho Hofstra is a data steward at the University Library of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He Provided good information on open science can become a chore for both researcher and data professional, but doesn’t have to be. Perhaps we can sneak in some fun to make the principles and good practices stick better? In this talk, we’ll look at some of the challenges in getting researchers to talk and think about open science and the ways Dutch university libraries try to break the ice.

Johanna Havemann,Dr. is a trainer and consultant in Open Scholarly Communication Research Project Management. She is also the co-founder and lead coordinator at AfricArXiv – the publishing platform to increase the discoverability of African research accomplishments. With a focus on digital tools for science and her label Access 2 Perspectives, she aims to strengthen globally inclusive science communication and research management through the adoption of Open Science practices. Her speech focused on how to analyzation and encourage a different approach to Open Science through multilingualism.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to listen to the recording in the Learning Hub: https://lnkd.in/dUXaahkb