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HEIRRI project will embed RRI in science education

Kick off meeting of HEIRRI project, Barcelona, September 2016

HEIRRI means "Higher Education Institutions & Responsible Research and Innovation" and this EU-funded Horizon 2020 project aims to integrate the concept of “Responsible Research and Innovation”, or RRI, in higher science education.

Coordinated by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), the three year project started on 1 September and a kick-off meeting will be taking place next week in Barcelona.

The rest of the HEIRRI consortium is composed of the Aarhus University (Denmark), the University of Bergen (Norway), the University of Split (Croatia), the Institute for Advanced Studies (Austria), the “la Caixa” Foundation (Barcelona, Spain), the company Innovatec (Madrid, Spain), and ACUP, the Catalan Association of Public Universities, which chairs GUNi, the Global University Network for Innovation (208 universities from 78 countries).

HEIRRI brings together nine European institutions over three years to look at how higher education institutions can integrate Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). At the kick-off meeting, hosted by coordinators Universitat Pompeu Fabra in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park on Wednesday 16 September, the partners got together to discuss the phases of the project, which will promote the application of RRI through its six key dimensions: public engagement, ethics, science education, gender equality, open access and scientific governance.

The project will develop training materials, and pilot new training courses to be implemented in universities and science centres across Europe. One of the first activities organized by HEIRRI will be the 1st HEIRRI conference, which will focus on good practices in RRI training and will be hosted in Barcelona in March 2016.

Ecsite will be contributing to the project's dissemination, organising its second conference and five science centres and museumw will to contributing their expertise to the development of training materials for science students. Ecsite will also be putting out a call for two Ecsite members to get involved in developing and hosting training courses for researchers.

The project will entail:

  • State of the Art analysis and detection of practical cases and best practice examples.
  • Design of teaching programmes at different university levels (undergraduate, postgraduate, phD, summer courses and MOOC).
  • Elaboration of training material with the following characteristics: multimedia, created through collaborative platforms, focused on the PBL system (Problem-based Learning) and publicly available in open access.
  • Implementation of the materials and courses in 10 pilot experiences in Europe (3 of which will be done in collaboration between a university and a science museum of the same city).
  • HEIRRI Forum: actions to encourage the debate on the need to integrate RRI and to advance towards the change that it implies. The Forum includes two international conferences (offline) and an online actions programme.
  • Actions for the internationalization of the project and the elaborated material (international university meetings, fellowships, etc).
  • Communication and evaluation actions.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 666004.


  • RRI
  • Horizon2020
  • higher education