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ORION - Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge is a 4-year project (runs from May 2017 to September 2021) that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Science with and for Society (SWAFS) Work Programme. The main aim of the SWAFS Programme is to build effective cooperation between science and society. Open science is a core strategy of the European Commission that involves widening participation and collaboration as well as sharing research processes and outcomes to improve research and innovation.

Our Aims

ORION will explore ways in which research and funding organizations in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organize and do research. The project aims to trigger evidence-based institutional, cultural and behavioural changes in Research Funding and Performing Organizations (RFPOs), targeting researchers, management staff and high-level leadership.

Our Vision

Our long-term vision is to “embed” Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles (ethics, gender, governance, open access, public engagement, and science education) in RFPOs, in their policies, practices and processes to organize and do research.

The Experiments

After an assessment exercise on Open Science awareness and practice, we will co-design and perform “co-creation experiments” with different groupings of RRI actors. Our experiments will tackle three specific challenges of Open Science:

  1. Opening up the research engine: ORION participating RFPOs will experiment with different and complementary approaches to embed Open Science in the way funding and research are organised.
  2. Identifying risks and opportunities presented by disruptive technologies: We will explore what risks and opportunities have technologies such as genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 from a range of perspectives by engaging with multiple stakeholders – researchers, funders, patient associations, industry, and legal and ethical experts.
  3. Running multi-stakeholder Citizen science (CS) projects in fundamental research: We would like to involve multiple stakeholders in scientific projects from project conception to hypothesis generation, data collection, analysis and further exploitation in a CS project in life sciences and biomedicine. We would like to explore benefits for both sites researchers and citizens.

Expected Results

These challenges will serve as case studies to try out different co-design/co-creation methods with multiple stakeholders, and engaging unusual blends of actors, e.g. funders and citizens, or researchers, industry and citizens.

We will identify drivers and barriers, interests and values, and in some cases produce “prototypes”, in the format of new Citizen Science projects, new research strategies and new funding frameworks, and last but not least new training material.

Work Packages

The work and the activities within the ORION project is divided into the following work packages:

WP1 – Coordination and Management - WP leader: The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)

The overarching goals of WP1 are to coordinate the consortium and proposed activities, and manage the project to reach the expected results and impact within the proposed budget and timeframe at the highest standard of quality. The coordinator, with the support of the project manager and in collaboration with the Steering committee, will supervise the project ́s activities, foster communication and collaborations among the partners.

WP2 – Analysis and Benchmarking - WP leader: CEITEC, Masaryk University

The overarching goals of WP2 are to analyse current awareness and understanding about Open Science from the different stakeholders, and allow exchange of knowledge and good practice, as well as benchmarking across institutions and countries. This work package is focused on acquiring current state of awareness about Open Science within the consortium as well as scientific, policy and professional fields and the lay public. All nine project partners will be involved in the analysis, from its design to implementation. 

WP3 - Co-creation experiences and experiments - WP leader: The Babraham Institute (BI) 

The overarching objective of WP3 is to facilitate Open Science and integrate RRI principles in RFPOs by performing co-creation experiments with multiple stakeholders, thereby leading the way to institutional changes. All partners and several associated partners will collaborate and participate in co-creation experiments, trialling new methods for embedding Open Science and RRI principles in RFPOs.

WP4 – Training on Open Science - WP leader: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC)

At the heart of Open Science is engagement with various stakeholders. Among these many participants, researchers often consider themselves the best informed about science and therefore in the best position to make decisions about it. The overarching goal of WP4 is to train researchers at early career stages (from PhD, postdocs to junior faculty) and staff at funding agencies on RRI and Open Science principles and practices, showing how these can be applied in fundamental research and funding processes.

WP5 - Evaluation - WP leader: CRECIM, UAB

Evaluation – assessing whether things have achieved their desired objectives/outcomes – is a central and essential part of any transformative process that provides information on which we can take decisions of different kinds. For this reason, the ORION project will perform evaluation of the potential institutional changes promoted by the project at multiple levels: at the core on the RFPOs, on multiple stakeholders during participating to the co-creation experiments and training, and beyond the project´s activities. The overarching goals of WP5 are to measure the impact of the project ́s outputs beyond simple numerical outcomes and allow evidence-based decision-making by a continuous and formative evaluation exercise along the project.

WP6 - Outreach and Embedding - WP leader: VA (Public & Science)

The overarching goals of WP6 are to raise awareness broadly about activities and results fostered by ORION, as well as to embed institutional changes in Open Science and RRI in the participating RFPOs and beyond, and to ensure their sustainability. All partners will be actively involved in disseminating project activities and results to the target audiences, including a multitude of stakeholders.

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