The launch event of Social Innovation Community

Social Innovation Community (SIC) will publicly launch with an event on 26-27 September in Brussels.

Funded by the H2020 Programme and run by a consortium of 12 leading organisations across Europe, SIC will build on the work of SIE to engage, strengthen and connect existing social innovation networks including public sector innovators, digital social innovators, social economy actors and more.

On 26-27 September, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the activities of the SIC project and how you can get involved. We will present a framework for a common understanding of social innovation, including past trends, the latest evidence and emerging methodologies in order to identify future priority areas. This will provide the foundation for future activities. And of course, you will meet leading social innovation projects, high-level policymakers and funders.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of SIC, and establish new connections and collaborations.

To have a look at agenda for the two days of the SIC launch, please have a look here.

If you’re interested in attending this event, please get in touch at
Date: Monday, September 26, 2016 – 09:00 to Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – 16:00
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Workshop during Living Knowledge Conference, Dublin

The ZSI team (Elisabeth Unterfrauner, Maria Schrammel, Margit Hofer) has organized on the 23rd of June 20116 an interactive workshop by the methodology of a World Cafe. The intention was to facilitate open discussions and link ideas of the participants to access experiences and potentials of integrating RRI in practice via the developed Self Reflection tool.
Many very active participants shared their good experiences and practices, also pointing at necessary improovements and next steps to be taken.
(image taken by Maria Schrammel)

RRI in Practice – session led by ZSI at the STS 2015

During the STS 2015, ZSI was leading a session that presented practival aspects of RRI, such as the implementation of RRI in university contexts (Marlene Altenhofer, Erich Griessler), a politically complementary approach to the Polysemy of RRI (Robert Gianni) and RRI through the use of systematic reviews (Monica Racovita).
Further the ZSI team introduced the participants to the RRI-Self Reflection tool, explained its purpose and set up as well as the evaluation methodology for this tool.
All presentations will be made public available on the STS2015 website.

Workshop on RRI at the ECSITE conference 2016

This workshop provides a comprehensive training on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), the ongoing process of aligning research and innovation with societal needs and expectations and one of the most important science policy trends in EU funding scheme Horizon 2020.

It addresses the needs of professionals who are interested in leading their organisations into RRI practice, and will be particularly useful to those working in science communication/education, contributing to improve their interactions with researchers, policy makers, business and industries and civil society.
Participants will be exploring the RRI Toolkit (, an online repository bringing together dozens of unique and reliable tools for a variety of RRI scenarios. The RRI Toolkit is also a great place to look for answers on what RRI is. It provides a clear understanding of RRI and why it is becoming the future of scientific advancement and social innovation. And for those who doubt whether RRI has anything to do with their work, RRI Tools provides a self-reflection tool to help determine where they stand.

View the details for the event under the ECSITE webpage.

Great progress in supporting learning in Public Employment Services across Europe

The European project EmployID recently had its annual review at EU premises in Luxembourg, where project members were presenting a summary of the achievements of the second year.

A group of external experts, advisers for the European Commission, provided their expertise and advice to the project and assessed the progress of the project in supporting European Public Employment Services in their learning and professional identity transformation.

The project has impressed the reviewers with its “very strong vision”, the “clear idea”, and the fact that project members are “well networked” in the domain. Overall the project was perceived to have made “extremely good progress” and should concentrate now on maximising its European impact.


First Austrian Hub training

The first Austrian Hub training of the RRI Tools project ( took place in Vienna on the 16 March 2016.
The morning was dedicated to elaborate the aspect of participation in science and innovation by different interactive methods. Valuable insights from practice of different user groups (civil society organisations, SME’s, researchers, educators and policy makers) were collected and discussed, leading to a much clearer picture on how the environment for a citicen needs to be designed allowing participation.
In the afternoon the RRI training continued. An overview of different RRI concepts and ideas as well as initiatives and platforms were presented. In specific the RRI Tools toolkit and the Self Reflection Tool was of high interest for the 19 multipliers since they presented valuable tools for their networks.
The group also collected open issues that call for further research, actions and initiatives in near future.
The results of this workshop will be sent to the participants for further comments and ideas and will be afterwards consolidated within a report for the RRI Tools platform.

Gender and science at five European universities and one research centre: PLOTINA project launch

Zentrum für soziale Innovation GmbH is one of the partners in an international consortium focused on gender equality led by the University of Bologna. The aim of the project is to develop, implement and evaluate gender equality plans tailored for each research organization involved in the project. The project partners officially kicked off the activities at the start-up meeting hosted by the University of Bologna from 24th to 26th February 2016.

The overall aim of “PLOTINA: Promoting Gender Balance and Inclusion in Research, Innovation and Training” is to enable the development, implementation and assessment of individually tailored Gender Equality Plans (GEPs), with innovative and sustainable strategies for the Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) involved.

PLOTINA will encourage the following specific objectives: creating tools to promote the career-development of researchers, especially of women, so that talent does not go to waste; correcting gender inequalities in decision-making processes; and integrating gender/sex variables in programs and research contents to foster excellence.

The project, coordinated by Professor Tullia Gallina Toschi (Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna), is focused on the careers of women researchers and gender equality. The leading role within the Zentrum für soziale Innovation GmbH will be assigned to WP5 Monitoring and Evaluation.
The project aims to involve all the players within each academic community, including governing bodies (Rector, Academic Senate and Board of Directors), Department Heads and School Deans, and academic and administrative staff, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. Undergraduate students will be the indirect stakeholders of the project activities and results.

The tools developed by PLOTINA will be available on an open-source project platform. Other Research Organizations and Higher Education Institutions will thus also be able to use the project library of Gender Equality Plan actions in their own contexts.
Thanks to its actions, the project will contribute to the achievement of ERA (European Research Area) gender equality targets, thus increasing productivity and giving value to social innovation. In the academic context, at which it is specifically targeted, PLOTINA will contribute to the diffusion of cultural change based on more inclusive workplaces that respect diversity.

The consortium represents the range of European RPOs, as well as the multiplicity of European social and cultural environments. The consortium includes the following organizations: University of Bologna (Italy), University of Warwick (United Kingdom), Mondragon Unibertsitatea (Spain), Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao (Portugal), Kemijski Institut (Slovenia), Ozyegin Universitesi (Turkey), Zentrum fur Soziale Innovation GmbH (Austria), Jump Forum (Belgium), Centro Studi Progetto Donna e Diversity MGMT (Italy), and Elhuyar-Zubize SL (Spain).

Train the Trainer – spreading responsibility in Research and Innovation

The RRI Tools project (UCL) has organised the train the trainer workshop in London from 17 – 19 of February 2016. The overall purpose of the training was to provide practical support for hubs organising workshops, and to hear back from them about their experience of what does and doesn’t work. In several sessions, the trainers were presented items on RRI that can be adapted for their national trainings on RRI.
The ZSI team contributed with a session that allowed participants to familiarise themselves with the RRI Self Reflection Tool, specifically how it works and how it can be used in training. The tool will be officially launched on the 8th of March 2016 (pl. see RRI Tools website) In addition, ZSI evaluates the feedback from all the participants to improove the trainings further.

Call for extended abstracts for ‘OPEN EVALUATION 2016’

Open Evaluation 2016, the largest conference in Europe dedicated to the evaluation of policies in the field of research, technology and innovation policy (RTI) will gather academics, evaluators, research managers, authorities and RTI policy makers to debate challenging developments in RTI policy and their effects on evaluation theory and practice.


The conference takes place in Vienna on 24-25 November 2016. The main conference organisers are the Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation, the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research and IFRIS – Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société, Paris.

The deadline for the call for extended abstracts is 15 April 2016. Please visit our homepage!

The conference addresses new actor settings, approaches and themes in RTI policy evaluation. Thus, the term OPEN EVALUATION signals openness towards new values, new stakeholders and beneficiaries as well as new approaches and themes in RTI policies and RTI evaluations.

The conference focuses on the following thematic priorities:

  1. Changing the role of evaluation of RTI policy to incorporate new values, RRI and new forms of science
  2. New evaluation approaches in data, methods, indicators and their interpretation
  3. RTI policy evaluation in the policy-making process
  4. Social innovation, societal impact, societal challenges
  5. Evaluation approaches for policies and programmes in social sciences and humanities (SSH)
  6. Challenges and new approaches to evaluate European RTI policies and programmes

We are looking forward to making this important event a success – together with you.

The Scientific Committee and the Organising Committee

RRI in practice @ the STS 2016 – Call for Abstracts

ZSI will host a session, orientated on the practice of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI in practice –
what do I need to know on RRI and how can I implement it?
) during the STS 2016 conference in Graz between the 9th and 10th of May 2016.
The Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS) invites submissions of special sessions for its next conference: “Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies”.
Registry as well as the proposals for presentations can be done at the STS website.

RRI Tools external experts meeting: a new video for the New Year!

The RRI Tools project aims at producing a participatory toolkit on responsible research and innovation, that is to be hosted very soon on On 19-20 November 2015 a first beta version of the RRI Toolkit was presented for external feedback to representatives of the research and innovation community, during an intensive two-day meeting, as told in a previous article.

A video gives insights of the vibrant and stimulating dialogue and exchanges of good practice at the meeting. We are very grateful to the participants for their dedicated commitment and support in making the Toolkit a most relevant user experience.

View the video

Expert workshop on RRI Self Reflection tool

On the 20th of November 2015, the ZSI lead a workshop in coorperation with ATHENA on the Self reflection tool that is developed by ZSI.
The RRI experts, that were invited to Brussels, framed the RRI self-reflection tool by a brainstorming on the questions “How could a self-reflection tool (SRT) on RRI look like? and Which features could it have?”.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-12-01 um 09.14.50

In the following, the group discussed strengths, threats, opportunities and weacknesses via a SWOT analysis. The valuable results and inputs will be embedded in the design of the SRT that will be released in spring 2016.