The words projected on the wall were big, and getting bigger. A few minutes earlier, we had been asked to think about the topic “Science...

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New project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for the next four years

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Ingenious Science shops to promote Participatory Innovation, Research and Equity in Science (InSPIRES)

Picture Credits: ANA Ferreira Cirigliano. Chuquisaca, Bolivia, 2016. Sheila, four, learns to write the letter A.

InSPIRES brings together Civil Society, practitioners and other stakeholders from across and beyond Europe to co-design, jointly pilot, implement and roll out innovative models for Science Shops. The InSPIRES models integrate Responsible Research and Innovation, Open Science and Impact Evaluation as part of their DNA in order to open the research process up in a more strategic way. The inputs from systematic impact evaluation studies will be continuously integrated in order to make InSPIRES Science Shops 2.0 models more accurate and responsive to civil society needs and concerns. 

Concentrating most of its efforts on Research & Innovation in the health and environmental sectors, giving special attention to gender parity and vulnerable groups (women, the elderly, adolescents, migrants and refugees), InSPIRES brings Science Cafés and other public engagement initiatives into its models together with a “glocal” international focus, for more inclusive, context relevant and culturally adapted community-based participatory research and innovation. 

Building on a comprehensive communication plan, with a strong effort dedicated to the development and implementation of a sustainability strategy, InSPIRES outcomes will:  

  • give evidence and support political bodies and decision-makers, in order to propose changes in local, regional, national and international policies;
  • nurture the debate about the place and role of society in science, encouraging the systematic and ethical involvement of civil society actors and their societal concerns in the research and innovation processes, and 
  • support the development of new Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Science (OSc) strategies and guidelines, in the context of safe spaces to involve and engage civil society in the whole science process. 


A connection with the Science Shop tradition naturally links InSPIRES to Living Knowledge, the international network of Science Shops.  Living Knowledge shares its experiences with us and welcomes our emerging project for several degrees of potential partnership.


InSPIRES full web page