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:

First CATALISI Community of Practice (CoP) workshop!

Institutional changes are needed to reform the most important priorities and challenges for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) regarding institutional transformations towards the future.

With this in mind, the CATALISI supports seven European HEIs to pursue institutional transformation by intervening in specific domains through the adoption of targeted acceleration services. The CATALISI Community of Practice (CoP) is one of the acceleration services provided within the project. The CoP is composed of a group of people who share common interests, valuable expertise and experience in institutional transformation in HEIs, and that can feed the project activities with relevant expertise, methods, stories, tools, for the transformation of Higher Education Institution’s governance.

First CoP workshop will be held on November 7, 2023 (15:00-17:00 CET). The aim of this first CoP workshop is to share knowledge and experience between professionals and experts of the field of institutional transformation with the objective to: 

1) build collective knowledge around the topic of institutional transformation of HEIs in shared domains of interest 

2) provide advice, guidance and new ideas to CATALISI Higher Education Institutions, ultimately contributing to the acceleration of transformation in the governance of HEIs in different areas of intervention.


Selected speakers will focus on sharing their experiences and inspirational stories in institutional transformations of HEIs, by focusing on the following aspects:

  • Introduction to their project and domain of intervention
  • Good practices, approaches and strategies adopted to achieve institutional transformations in the R&I area
  • Obstacles and challenges faced to achieve transformative actions, how were these solved?
  • Recommendations to HEIs when facing institutional transformations.

Interested to join the first Community of Practice workshop? 
Sign up here!

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.

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!

CATALISI partner, University Jaume I at ETHNA SYSTEM Final Conference on Responsible Research and Innovation

On 15th and 16th of June, members of the University Jaume I CATALISI team had the opportunity to participate in the ETHNA SYSTEM Final Conference on Ethics and Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice in Castellón de la Plana (Spain). 

ETHNA is a European project focused on promoting internal management to ensure responsible research and innovation (RRI) within universities. Elsa González Esteban, from UJI’s research group “Ethics and Democracy” and also a CATALISI member, is the main researcher of the project.

CATALISI member Carlota Carretero made a notable impact by presenting a poster that explained the project’s general approach, intervention areas, and UJI’s specific transformative goals for the institution.

 

“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and exchange views with experts on research assessment, ethics and innovation”
Carlota Carretero

Top management representatives from UJI’s government attended the conference, as well as national and international experts in research innovation and research ethics, such as Eva Méndez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) or Ana Marušić (University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia). During the poster walk, experiences and impressions were shared with other participants, including colleagues from APRE, CATALISI coordinator. The conference was a great chance to learn more about the transformations currently being carried out in research assessment, open access and research ethics. In addition, its content came across as inspiring and as a great next step to discuss different viewpoints on complex issues with such a huge impact on researchers’ careers and science development.

“This conference set a great environment for sharing knowledge and experiences with participants from different institutions and countries”
Ramón Feenstra

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.