Towards Sustainability of Research and Innovation – CATALISI workshop at UCC

Over 40 stakeholders from across the quadruple helix come together in Cork for a full day workshop to examine what’s needed to support sustainable and best practice research and innovation in the City and region.  

Aligned to the University College Corks Institutional Strategy, the EU Horizon Europe CATALISI initiative (Collaboration, Action, Transformation, Adaptation, Learning, Innovation, Sustainability, and Impact) invited stakeholders to deliberate on the topic of ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ 

University College Cork (UCC) is committed to delivering impactful R&I that addresses societal challenges; transforming research into meaningful policy; and delivering a highly skilled workforce as key enablers of future economic development and national competitiveness.  

This workshop initiated dialogue with internal and external stakeholders to explore what’s needed to accelerate transformation towards a more financially sustainable research and innovation ecosystem that enhances excellence and world-class research.  

Held on August 2nd 2023, the workshop kick starts a longer-term process for collaborating with stakeholders in Cork, listening to their needs, experience and expertise to understand the current landscape and explore issues, challenges, barriers and the conditions that affect and inform this critical area of university operations and external partnerships.  

The UCC CATALISI intervention area ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ directly spans two of the three CATALASI Intervention Domains: namely ‘Research Modus Operandi’ and ‘Finance’, with a strong relationship to the ‘Human Capital’ Domain.  

Framing the intervention area, UCC recognize that financial sustainability is integral and related to realizing sustainability in broader terms and within the context of a research and innovation eco-system that interacts at local, regional, national and international levels.    

In the morning, a committed and passionate group of internal UCC stakeholders focussed on university operations, while the afternoon provided an opportunity to listen deeply to the diverse perspectives of our external stakeholders.  

All participants considered (i) the local context and framework conditions for sustainable research and innovation, (ii) barriers to financial sustainability and (iii) stakeholders needs, values concerns and expectations.   

Throughout, facilitated discussions invited critical reflection on the research ecosystem and explored what’s needed to strengthen how it contributes to long-term development of Cork and the wider region, to address climate change, sustainable growth and ensure social cohesion.  

Additionally, stakeholders who were unable to attend on the day provided written inputs and many others expressed interest to engage with the ongoing work of the project, reflecting the strong local interest in the CATALISI initiative.  

As an output from the workshop, the Cork CATALASI team has collated inputs and feedback into a summary report which includes a high-level SWOT and snapshot of the current context for internal and external conditions.  This will be used as a launchpad for further engagement in Autumn 2023, where discussions will begin to ideate and co-create possible solutions and activities to respond to the challenges identified and support transformation towards more sustainable research and innovation.  

The workshop was co-led by the UCC CATALASI team, Dr Martin Galvin, Dr David O’Connell, David Hogan and Ciara O’Halloran, together with Joanna Karas from the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL).  

Recognition of qualifications, role of the society and sustainability on campus – CATALISI workshop at UG

The workshop on “Transformational Changes with CATALISI Stakeholders” at the University of Gdańsk (UG) aimed to explore and discuss the concept of catalyzing transformative changes through stakeholder engagement. This workshop recognized the importance of collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility in driving positive societal and environmental impact.

With the acronym CATALISI representing Collaboration, Action, Transformation, Adaptation, Learning, Innovation, Sustainability, and Impact, this workshop brings together diverse stakeholders from academia, industry, government, civil society, and the local community. The University of Gdańsk serves as a dynamic platform for fostering dialogue, exchange of ideas, and collective action towards achieving sustainable and transformative outcomes.

All key stakeholders, both internal and external, were invited to participate in a workshop, co-led together by UG team – prof. Sylwia Mrozowska, Phd Sebastian Susmarski and Phd Katarzyna Markiewicz – and Joanna Karas (ENoLL) on June 16th 2023 at University of Gdańsk (UG).

During this workshop, participants have engaged in interactive sessions, presentations, and discussions to explore the potential of collaboration and stakeholder engagement in driving transformative changes. The focus was be on addressing pressing the three major intervention areas:

– Human Capital;

– Research Modus Operandi;

– Finance.

By convening stakeholders with various perspectives, expertise, and experiences, this workshop aimed to facilitate knowledge sharing, to inspire innovative approaches, and foster partnerships that can lead to actionable solutions and impactful outcomes. Participants had the opportunity to exchange best practices, learn from success stories, and identify pathways for transformative changes within universities main intervention areas include:

– the recognition of qualifications and research careers;

– the public engagement with and outreach to society to solve social challenges;

– the sustainability in campus.

The outcomes of the workshop will serve as the primary contribution towards advancing the strategy for addressing the three challenges. These challenges will be tackled through concrete actions and bolstered by acceleration services. The workshop results will provide valuable insights and recommendations that will guide the development of the strategy, ensuring a comprehensive and effective approach to overcoming the identified obstacles. The aim is to create a framework that integrates targeted actions with the necessary support services to successfully tackle these challenges and drive meaningful progress.

Open science, IP sharing and researchers’ qualifications – CATALISI Workshop at AUTH

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki convened a stakeholder event on July 12th, gathering representatives from academia, business, the public sector, and civil society. The event focused on addressing the university’s current challenges and needs, particularly in areas such as IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption.

During the event, stakeholders delved into the obstacles faced by Aristotle University, including limited cross-sector collaboration, research silos, and a gap between academic knowledge and practical applications. These challenges were acknowledged as hindrances to the university’s transformational journey.

Effective IP sharing mechanisms emerged as a key priority, with stakeholders stressing the importance of fostering an environment that encourages researchers to share intellectual assets, collaborate with industry, and translate their findings into tangible outcomes. Improving IP sharing frameworks would enable collaborative research and development, resulting in innovative solutions and greater societal impact.

The qualification of researchers was also highlighted as a critical area of focus. Stakeholders recognized the significance of attracting and nurturing highly qualified individuals capable of addressing complex challenges. They emphasized the need for comprehensive support systems, including opportunities for continuous learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and professional development. Empowering researchers with the necessary qualifications and skills will drive meaningful change and advancements in various fields.

Additionally, the adoption of open science practices was discussed as a transformative pathway for Aristotle University. Stakeholders acknowledged the benefits of open science in enhancing transparency, reproducibility, and collective learning. Embracing open science would foster a collaborative ecosystem where research data, methodologies, and findings are openly shared, facilitating increased innovation, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and societal relevance.

By recognizing the challenges and discussing the critical needs related to IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption, stakeholders initiated a fruitful dialogue. Aristotle University can now leverage the insights gained from the event to shape its strategic direction, policies, and collaborations. With a collective commitment to collaboration and shared aspirations, the university aims to drive positive change and create a lasting impact on society and the global community.

Discussing 4 intervention areas for institutional transformation – CATALISI Workshop at LUISS

On 11th of July, LUISS University CATALISI team, together with project partners APRE, EY and ENoLL, organised a workshop to discuss its path to institutional transformation.

The event gathered all stakeholders among LUISS academic community as key actors playing a major role in implementing foreseen transformations in the University. The workshop goal was to identify, jointly with LUISS stakeholders, all barriers, needs, expectations and framework conditions that can influence the institutional transformations.

In the CATALISI context, LUISS has decided to focus on four major intervention areas:

  • Mainstreaming of open science and digitisation of research
  • Public engagement with and outreach to society to solve social challenges
  • Supporting talent circulation – mobility
  • Sustainability in Research

The discussions were focused around identified short-, medium- and long-term goals foreseen in the 4 areas. In particular:

  • How to raise awareness about Open Science among the Faculty and on a governance level, to improve the quality of publications in Open Access and develop innovative tools for Open Science.
  • How to support public engagement, as the University Third Mission, increasing the internal awareness towards Third Mission, the quality of public engagement activities done in LUISS with the active involvement of the Faculty, and ultimately enhance Luiss’ role in the national and international debate on Third Mission.
  • How to promote and improve LUISS’ policies to attract ERC an MSCA researchers, promoting talent circulation.
  • How to promote research funding opportunities on sustainability issues at large and increase the number of quality researchers through external funding and tools which support financial sustainability.

Gathering experiences, thoughts and propositions from LUISS community, the results of the workshop will contribute greatly to the action plan for institutional transformation to be developed in 2023, together with the help and support of facilitating partners and innovative acceleration services foreseen in CATALISI.

Reform of research assessment & culture: CATALISI workshop at AUMC

As part of the CATALISI project and series of workshops conducted with universities, AUMC & VU institutions, with stakeholders from both  AmsterdamUMC (location VUMC) and VU (Amsterdam Free University) organized a workshop on June 30th.

CATALISI gathers stakeholders from quadruple helix (academia, public sector, business and civil society representatives). In this workshop, the first of more to come, stakeholders were invited to think along about two main intervention areas that will be the focus for institutional transformation: 

1) Recognition of qualifications and research careers and

2) Reform of research assessment.

Topics related to both areas can be connected to a focus on improving Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Related topics are for example: Research culture; research integrity; open science and RCR education.

The group of stakeholders was, based on expertise, divided into two thematical sub groups; the first focusing on research culture, and the second on embedding sustainably RCR education. The stakeholders contributed in lively sessions, sharing their expertise on these topics. Policy makers, researchers in RCR, and experts in specific topics all had valuable ideas about specifying the goals for CATALISI, analyzing potential barriers for the implementation of institutional transformation and highlighting needs and expectations, values, and concerns for different stakeholders perspectives.

This workshop provides a great starting point for the launch of CATALISI at AUMC and VU, engaging stakeholders, and gathering their expertise and feedback to inquire possible interventions, and make sure these interventions will be useful and feasible.

Transformational changes underway – CATALISI workshop at UJI

As part of the series of CATALISI workshops that aim at transformation changes withing seven universities, on July 3rd CATALISI partners Universitat Jaume I (Castellón, Spain) as well as European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) introduced the project and engaged stakeholders while focusing on CATALISI intervention areas.

UJI’s workshop was divided into two parts. The first one was focused on UJI’s internal needs as an implementor whereas the second one focussed on the interaction between internal and external stakeholders (academia, business, civil society, public administrations) that exchanged and discussed their experiences.

The topics that were discussed in the first session were “research assessment, recognition of research careers and gender equality” and “public engagement and citizen science”. The participants were divided into these two thematic groups according to their expertise. Later, in the second part of the session, internal and external stakeholders discussed, again in two separate groups (according to their expertise), the topics of “gender equality” and “public engagement and citizen science”.

The diversity of the internal stakeholders, as well as the strive for the necessary transformation could be seen through the ones attending the session – from UJI’s vice rectors (of research, social policies and innovation and science outreach) to technicians with expertise on specific areas. Also, external stakeholders from different business in Castellón (specially focused on tourism), local administrations and civil society (ethical committee for tourism, local foundation for gender equality) attended the second part of the session.

The workshop was closed as a very successful one, engaging the stakeholders from quadruple helix and providing necessary feedback to implementors and just first in the line, so stay tuned for more information and insights that our stakeholders will share!

Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions

On May 30th, 2023, APRE, a partner of the WIDERA NCP project ‘WIDERA.NET’ and the coordinator of the CATALISI project, conducted a training session for WIDERA National Contact Points.

NCP WIDERA.NET identifies and shares good practices within the NCP community and raises the standard of support provided by NCPs to applicants. It also enables the transnational network of NCPs to better address cross-cutting objectives such as gender equality and open science.

The training focused on “Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)”. The APRE team, working on the CATALISI project, along with two other projects funded under the same topic, namely the aUPaEU project coordinated by Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and the Accelerate_FutureHEI project coordinated by University Industry Innovation Network BV, presented their approaches to supporting HEIs in implementing strategies and individual pathways for institutional transformation.

 

We believe that training events organized with CATALISI sibling projects that deal with Institutional transformation of HEIs through acceleration services, are of foremost importance to create synergies and share points of view on how to achieve sustainable institutional transformation of research organizations towards R&I. As a follow-up of the training event, the three projects are in fact starting to collaborate on the development of policy recommendations for HEIs' institutional transformation.

During the training, the coordinators provided an overview of the aims and methodologies of their respective projects. They emphasized how acceleration services can assist HEIs in successfully implementing transformation strategies and roadmaps. These services include creating a shared knowledge base, offering coaching services, and providing a virtual meeting platform for HEIs to connect with peers, ecosystem actors, investors, and public funders.

The training concluded with an engaging Q&A session, where participants delved deeper into how these projects can be utilized to support the institutional transformation of HEIs in Research and Innovation (R&I) across Europe.

 

 

What’s next?

Follow CATALISI and stay tuned for our upcoming activities:

Be part of a lively group of people interested and experts in institutional transformation of HEIs. You will advise and guide our Implementers on the topic of Institutional transformation towards the future, and at the same time benefit from knowledge sharing, networking and capacity building opportunities during the project.

  • September 2023: First Webinar on HEIs institutional transformations in the domain of “Gender & Inclusiveness”: follow CATALISI learning hub to watch the recording and access the materials.
  • Upcoming Mutual learning activities and workshops for Implementers and CoP members: stay tuned!

More about our “sister” projects:

Accelerate Future HEI (Accelerating support for university transformation) will apply a robust, comprehensive methodology that builds on the status quo and develops a connected vision and set of activities that provide each institution with a tailored transformation action plan. Experts specialised in implementing acceleration services will guide the universities through coaching, training and international knowledge exchange to help them achieve their desired entrepreneurship, innovation and engagement goals.

aUPaEU (A University Partnership for Acceleration of European Universities) ultimate purpose is to develop methodologies, sustainability plans, coaching services, and tangible digital technologies to give an acceleration agora. HEIs, university networks, and alliances will achieve integrated, shared, and long-term R&I transformations through this accelerated agora. These transformations are intended to focus on six major areas of the HEI transformation agenda: capacity, infrastructure, and resource sharing; researcher career attractiveness; collaboration with R&I ecosystem actors; open science; societal outreach; and gender equality.

CATALISI Kick Off Meeting

CATALISI is an EU-funded project consisting of 11 partners from 8 EU Member States. The consortium gathered in Rome on 26th and 27th of January to kick off the project that will last 36 months and whose aim is to help and support Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to successfully implement a strategy and individual pathway for institutional transformation. 

The project will analyse how the governance of Higher Education Institutions can be changed, considering the governance as a way in which societal and state actors intentionally interact in order to transform Science Technology and Innovation systems, by regulating issues of societal concern.

While the first day of the kick off meeting focused on sharing and accessing the expertise of the partners, division of the tasks and timeline of activities throughout the project, the second day was dedicated to discussions on stakeholder engagement. CATALISI will provide 7 acceleration services in 3 domains and split its efforts between the implementors and facilitators. In addition to the acceleration services, CATALISI will initiate a dedicated space on its website for exchange of knowledge, matchmaking and funding opportunities as well as gathering inputs from implementors and third parties (Learning Hub).

In order to boost the impact of the project and apply CATALISI findings wider, the project will engage in creating a Community of Practice composed of a group of people who share expertise and experiences in institutional transformation in HEI.

Partners who will participate and are in charge of successful implementation of the project are:

AGENZIA PER LA PROMOZIONE DELLA RICERCA EUROPEA | ERNST & YOUNG BUSINESS SCHOOL SCUOLA DI MANAGEMENT SRL | F6S NETWORK IRELAND LIMITED | EUROPEAN NETWORK OF LIVING LABS IVZW | KAUNO TECHNOLOGIJOS UNIVERSITETAS | UNIVERSITAT JAUME I DE CASTELLON | LUISS LIBERA UNIVERSITA INTERNAZIONALE DEGLI STUDI SOCIALI GUIDO CARLI | UNIWERSYTET GDANSKI | UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK | ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS | STICHTING VUMC

 

Stay tuned for next CATALISI activities!

 

Press Release: CATALISI project

CATALISI Press Release announcement

CATALISI is an EU-funded project that started in January 2023. With the aim to help and support Higher Education Institutions to successfully implement a strategy and individual pathway for institutional transformation, CATALISI will introduce the adoption of acceleration services. The project will analyse how the governance of Higher Education Institutions can be changed, considering the governance as a way in which societal and state actors intentionally interact in order to transform Science Technology and Innovation systems, by regulating issues of societal concern.

In the 36 months of the project, 11 partners from 8 EU Member States will implement the project dividing its efforts between implementors and facilitators.
CATALISI will offer 7 acceleration services and tackle 3 domains

  • Research careers and talent support
  • Open science and public engagement
  • Sustainable research and education

CATALISI Implementors are the Higher Education Institutions which will introduce and implement reforms in their structures.

CATALISI implementors: KAUNO TECHNOLOGIJOS UNIVERSITETAS | UNIVERSITAT JAUME I DE CASTELLON | LUISS LIBERA UNIVERSITA INTERNAZIONALE DEGLI STUDI SOCIALI GUIDO CARLI | UNIWERSYTET GDANSKI | UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK | ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS | STICHTING VUMC

CATALISI Facilitators will contribute to the creation and implementation of acceleration services, knowledge transfer and implementation of co-designed activities.

CATALISI Facilitators are: AGENZIA PER LA PROMOZIONE DELLA RICERCA EUROPEA | ERNST & YOUNG BUSINESS SCHOOL SCUOLA DI MANAGEMENT SRL | F6S NETWORK IRELAND LIMITED | EUROPEAN NETWORK OF LIVING LABS IVZW