PROSO’s main goal

PROSO is the short name of a project called Promoting Societal Engagement in Research and Innovation. The major goal of the PROSO project is to provide guidance on how to encourage engagement of citizens and third sector organizations, like non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs), in Europe’s research and innovation processes. This guidance shall help in moving towards Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), the European Union’s approach to good governance in research and innovation (R&I). Societal engagement in R&I is an important element of the EU’s RRI approach. Recent EU-funded research has found that societal engagement in European R&I is relatively high by international standards, but is unevenly distributed, both geographically and regarding issue areas (see ENGAGE2020 project http://engage2020.eu/home/).

PROSO’s main outcome

In PROSO we will develop guidance in form of a policy and practice guide. The guide will be based on the results of PROSO’s in-depth analysis of the barriers and incentives for engaging third sector actors and citizens in publicly funded research and innovation. We will investigate barriers and incentives through various approaches, in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, including science/technology policy makers, research funders, academics, industry/businesses, third sector organizations and citizens, and in relation to three areas of research and innovation. The three areas are nanotechnology, food and health, and bio-economy. The policy and practice guide will offer:

  • An overview of incentives and barriers for the engagement of third sector organizations and citizens in different research and innovation contexts
  • Best case examples of societal engagement for Responsible Research and Innovation
  • Policy and governance options for encouraging societal engagement in Responsible Research and Innovation.
PROSO’s research focus
PROSO’s research focus

PROSO’s analytical focus and key activities

These are some of the questions that PROSO will be concerned with in order to develop the policy and practice guide and the main approaches to deal with the questions:

  • What encourages or hinders citizens to contribute to research and innovation in the R&I fields of nanotechnology, food and health, and bio-economy? – We will carry out citizen panels in five European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom).
  • What encourages or hinders third sector organizations such as consumer organizations or environmental organizations to contribute to research and innovation in these fields? – We will interview these and other relevant stakeholders (about 15 interviews for each R&I field).
  • What encourages or hinders stakeholders in research (researchers, programme funders, managers) to co-operate with third sector organizations and citizens in these domains of research and innovation? – We will interview actors across the board.
  • What does this mean in terms of policy and governance approaches for promoting engagement of society in research and innovation in these and other fields? – We will use a wide-ranging European conference and expert-workshops to identify incentives and barriers to societal engagement and to discuss policy and governance solutions.

PROSO: a multi-actor EU-project

PROSO is funded under Horizon 2020. As a transdisciplinary project, PROSO’s consortium comprises different types of partners:

  • Four research organizations (three public, one private)
  • One research-oriented CSO
  • One European industry association
  • Two strategy consulting firms.

PROSO is supported by a four-member Advisory Panel.

The project is coordinated by DIALOGIK gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Kooperationsforschung mbh, a non-profit research company based in Stuttgart, Germany. Citizen and stakeholder participation is one of DIALOGIK’s main areas of work.