Universitat Jaume I
Castelló de la Plana, Spain
It has been almost one year since you have been working with the consortium partners in the different corners of Europe. Please describe the experience of creating collaborations amongst such a wide variety of partners!
Our main role is to know what to request so that the knowledge that each partner already has will be of service to our common goal: to develop and implement the ETHNA System. In the kick-off meeting of the project that took place at the beginning of the year, it was clear that we all had very different professional profiles and backgrounds. But, from that day to the present, what it is to be highlighted is the evident will to offer self-knowledge to the committee. And do it all in spite of the challenges of Covid-19, which limited the contact and communication of telematic resources.
On the other side, working from different countries and institutions provides various perspectives and work methods, which enhances the process. Moreover, this is the first time we coordinate a European project of this nature and so far it has been a very interesting learning experience.
What do you consider the major milestones the project has achieved so far?
During these months we have made progress in every active work package, beginning with the one we lead from the UJI as coordinators: WP1. WP2, led by NTNU, has been progressed to evaluate the state of the RRI, especially in the governance field: to analyse good practices and conduct interviews to get further information concerning specific experiences. EUREC leads WP3 and is currently delving into the stakeholders map in order to be able to provide a guide of how to map their own stakeholders in R&D and Innovation to those who will come after, given that this is a project which seeks to last over time and have an impact beyond the implementations that will be made. In September, ZSI began WP4, the development of the conceptualisation of the ETHNA system, which is the first step of the WP and the resulting work of the previous WPs. Furthermore, transversally speaking, the communication led by BIOCOM in WP7 has been crucial throughout the project. Accordingly, the synergies obtained due to communicating through social media and the ETHNA System website should be noted.
How is ETHNA System collaborating with other EU projects on related topics?
As we mentioned, communication has favoured the establishment of synergies with different European projects. For instance, on January 13 and January 20, 2021, we will take part in an open online training on RRI and gender equality organised by the GEECCO project (Gender Equality in Engineering through Communication and Commitment). Likewise, we are planning on collaborating with the other projects on the programme “SwafS-05-2018-2019 – Grounding RRI practices in research and innovation funding and performing organisations” just like Co-Change (Co-Create Change in Research Funding and Performing) and RESBIOS (RESponsible research and innovation grounding practices in BIOSciencies). The role of the project’s associated partners is also noteworthy. Their collaboration and contributions are key to the development of the ETHNA System and the dissemination of its results. A project like this one must be open and collaborative. For that reason, we hope to broaden the collaboration throughout the project.
What is the greatest challenge to date in the coordination of the ETHNA system project?
As coordinators, the main challenge is, as we mentioned at the beginning, working together with all the partners so that the knowledge that we each possess can be of service for the development and implementation of the ETHNA System. The ultimate purpose is to provide research centres, science parks and organisms that finance research with an ethical governance system of research and innovation.