The European Union promotes and funds projects in which various stakeholders (governments, academia, companies and civil society) from different territories explore and test new solutions to major challenges aligned with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. These European projects provide spaces for experimentation and learning that generate new evidence to enable governments to rethink policies and practices.
Within this context, RIS3CAT operates a line of action aimed at identifying European projects with partners from Catalonia, aimed at providing evidence and learning both for RIS3CAT itself and for public policies. These learnings are particularly important for RIS3CAT 2021-2027.
The priorities of this line of action are:
- To explore models of participatory governance that can promote and enable cooperation among various stakeholders, both within a territory and between territories, in order to address systemic challenges more effectively.
- To explore formulas for applying responsible research and innovation in territorial development strategies and RIS3 strategies through shared agendas for sustainability and social change.
- To develop methodologies and pilot projects that enable public administrations to focus their work on challenges and missions, taking a systemic approach through shared agendas in cooperation with the stakeholders involved.
- To explore strategies that enable public administrations to promote the development of business models that can generate shared value.
- To explore formulas that generate synergies and complementarities and so maximise the impact of European projects financed by different funds and programmes.
SeeRRI (2019-2021) is a joint project by twelve organisations from five different countries. It is funded by the Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society programme.
The aim of SeeRRI is to integrate responsible research and innovation into smart territorial specialisation strategies (RIS3) to promote more responsible and sustainable research and innovation ecosystems, which will help to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economic model.
Within the framework of SeeRRI, the Government of Catalonia and the Autonomous University of Barcelona have launched the B-30 pilot project in the territorial area known as the “B-30”, which includes the twenty-three municipalities located from Martorell to Roca del Vallès from east to west and from Castellar del Vallès to Sant Cugat del Vallès from north to south. The objective of the project is to demonstrate that the methodology of shared agendas for sustainability and social change can contribute to articulating a more responsible and sustainable research and innovation ecosystem, enabling systemic challenges to be addressed more effectively and accelerating the transition to sustainability and social change and the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
Transform (2020-2022) is a joint project by thirteen organisations from five different countries. It is funded by the Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society programme.
Within the framework of this project, the governments of Catalonia, Lombardy and the Brussels-Capital Region cooperate with research organisations and citizen science laboratories with the aim of co-creating and testing new methodologies for including responsible research and innovation in smart specialisation strategies (RIS3).
The activities in Catalonia focus on exploring, through pilot projects, how participatory strategies and citizen science methodologies can be incorporated into shared agendas for sustainability and social change in order to address the Sustainable Development Goals more effectively.
Panoramed is the governance project of the Interreg MED programme. The participants are twenty-one partners from twelve Mediterranean countries. Under the project, the Government of Catalonia, through the Ministry of the Vice-Presidency and of the Economy and Finance, leads the Innovation Working Group, which promotes strategic innovation projects for the Mediterranean and draws up recommendations for innovation policies established by European funds for the 2021-2027 period.
Within the framework of the Innovation Working Group, the Government of Catalonia focuses on exploring how governance can be improved in Mediterranean innovation policies so that these policies generate synergies and complementarities to maximise the impact of projects financed by different European funds and programmes. The Government of Catalonia works with experts and stakeholders in innovation in the Northern Mediterranean area to design governance models that enable collaboration among the various territorial players with the aim of addressing systemic challenges more effectively through missions and coalitions for change.
As the Innovation Working Group focuses on actions in the field of the blue economy, it is closely linked to the Maritime Strategy of Catalonia, which establishes the blue bioeconomy as one of the country’s main strategic sectors. In this respect, as a result of the creation of BlueNetCat, the Maritime R&D Network of Catalonia, the research and governance requirements necessary to promote the blue bioeconomy in Catalonia have been identified. This project was developed within the framework of RIS3CAT and with co-financing from the ERDF Operational Programme Catalonia 2014-2020.
The Ecowaste4food Project (2017-2020) focuses on the challenge of preventing food waste. One of its goals is to demonstrate that food waste management contributes to a more sustainable and inclusive model for territorial economic development.
Through this project, the Catalan Waste Agency has launched the Action Plan for the Prevention of Food Waste in Catalonia 2019-2020, which provides a framework and a space for meeting and cooperation among players from forty-seven different organisations that represent all the parts of the value chain and which share the same challenge.
The players have identified six priorities which are key to addressing the challenge of food waste prevention:
- Generate knowledge to understand the phenomenon of food waste and how it evolves in the context of the food system.
- Raise awareness, educate and train for action in the prevention of food waste.
- Prevent food waste at source so that food is not thrown away at any point in the food chain.
- Recover and use waste foodstuffs, especially those for human consumption.
- Implement a participatory governance model based on coordination among stakeholders in the food chain to generate impact on the food system.
- Promote a regulatory framework that increases and accelerates the impact of actions.
In order to join forces, all the actions by the participating organisations that contribute to the shared priorities have been included in the Action Plan. The Plan’s governance and monitoring system enables players to jointly assess the progress of their actions and their impact on the food system. It also enables them to jointly detect and analyse synergies, complementarities, opportunities and obstacles, as well as to explore and launch new collaborative actions.
The Ecowaste4food Project, which ends in December 2020, is a first step in articulating a shared agenda within the framework of RIS3CAT, co-financed by the ERDF Operational Programme Catalonia 2014-2020, to address the challenge of food waste in Catalonia more effectively.
The main objective of the CircE Project (2017-2021) is to improve public policies in order to drive the European transition to a circular economy by enhancing the collaboration of public administrations with companies and players in the research and innovation system.
In Catalonia, the project serves to identify opportunities and obstacles concerning the transition to the circular economy in the textile and beverage sectors. The Action Plan implemented by the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability promotes actions with the following priorities:
- To promote circularity in the textile industry of Catalonia by setting goals shared by private and public players in the sector’s value chain and promoting innovative and collaborative projects.
- To organise a university competition (“Recircula Challenge”) in which circular economy solutions are proposed for real and urgent challenges in the textile industry, with the aim of raising awareness and building capacity with regard to the circular economy.
- To analyse and promote measures to promote the circular economy and prevent wastage, including food waste, in the beverage sector.
- To promote research and innovation in plastic recycling and new materials for beverage containers.
The Action Plan is a first step towards articulating, within the framework of RIS3CAT and with co-financing from the ERDF Operational Programme Catalonia 2021-2027, shared agendas to help to steer the beverage and textile sectors towards the circular economy.
The objective of the HIGHER project (2016-2020), coordinated by the Autonomous University of Barcelona Research Park (PRUAB), is to improve the innovation capacity of European regions through RIS3 strategies.
The Action Plan of Catalonia is aimed at designing and implementing a pilot project to articulate the participation of quadruple-helix players in the research and innovation agendas of RIS3CAT communities, and to promote responsible research and innovation. The project, implemented by the INNOÀPAT RIS3CAT Community, focuses on the theme of smart foods. However, the methodology (developed in spaces and using instruments provided by UAB and the PRUAB) is also applicable to other RIS3CAT areas and instruments.
The starting point for the pilot project is provided by the four challenges selected by the members of the INNOÀPAT RIS3CAT Community (universities, research centres, technology centres and companies):
- To reduce food waste.
- To reduce the use of plastics in food.
- To reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock.
- To promote personalised nutrition.
The pilot project is developed in three stages:
- Ideas laboratory. This consists of several working sessions in which quadruple-helix players
- explore the social perception of challenges,
- define a shared vision of challenges,
- generate ideas, and
- explore, identify and validate possible lines of research and innovation that may be useful to society.
- Ideas generation programme. This is a practical and educational programme in which participants are organised into multidisciplinary groups to explore and develop business models based on research and innovation ideas that address one of the challenges selected for action. The programme is expected to comprise 50 hours spread over two months. At the end, the groups (six in this pilot project) will present their ideas to a jury.
- Development of prototypes. The ideas selected by the jury can be developed in the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s open labs, which are spaces for experimentation and innovation open to quadruple-helix players.
The methodology and lessons learned from this pilot project are important for articulating more responsible and sustainable research and innovation ecosystems. The learnings will be applied directly to the SeeRRI European project and to developing shared agendas for sustainability and social change promoted within the framework of RIS3CAT.
SMARTY is a project of Interreg Europe for Industry 4.0. Its main objectives are:
- To establish a common learning base on the main factors that make it difficult for small businesses to move to Industry 4.0, and possible solutions.
- To explore and exchange experiences to promote, through ERDF regional operational programmes, the development of Industry 4.0, providing support to SMEs.
Within the framework of this project, the Government of Catalonia, through the Ministry of the Vice-Presidency and of the Economy and Finance, cooperates with actors in the Catalan innovation ecosystem with the following objectives:
- To explore the potential of Industry 4.0 solutions to accelerate the industrial transition to a circular economy.
- To explore open and collaborative innovation formulas and challenge-based work methodologies for small companies with the aim of accelerating the industrial transition to circular economy.
- To explore funding options within the framework of the ERDF Operational Programme Catalonia for the 2021-2027 period.