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The ORION project team at the kick-off meeting 9-10 May 2017
The ORION project team at the kick-off meeting 9-10 May 2017

Team-building and co-creation were the main focuses of kick-off meeting (KOM), which provided an opportunity for the ORION team to get to know each and to start work on the four-year project.  An exercise in which participants had to stand next to cards representing their main area of expertise demonstrated the huge range of experience in the room, including RRI, research integrity, ethics, open access, funding, citizen science, policy and public engagement. 

Co-creation with multiple stakeholders

At the heart of ORION is a range of open “co-creation” experiments to explore ways in which research and funding organisations in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organise and do research. Another core element is training to help researchers apply open science and RRI concepts to the research process.  Many sessions at the KOM were designed to brainstorm ideas and share existing knowledge about these aspects of the project. Other important elements discussed at the KOM were benchmarking, evaluation and communications and dissemination, including a stakeholder exercise to better understand the broad range of stakeholders that will be engaged through the project.

A collaborative dinner

Co-creation and collaboration continued into the first evening with a joint dinner at bcnKitchen, where the team had to prepare and cook the meal themselves.  Preparing Spanish tapas, such as aubergine tempura and fresh gazpacho soup, was a new experience for many of the team but everyone agreed that chatting over the chopping board was an enjoyable way to get to know each other.

Members of the ORION project team pco-creating tapas at bcnKitchen
Members of the ORION project team co-creating tapas at bcnKitchen

Now work on ORION begins in earnest and everyone left the KOM full of energy and enthusiasm, as well as with some delicious new tapas recipes.


The KOM was attended by representatives of ORION’s 9 partner organisations; the Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain (project coordinator); the Central European Institute of Technology, Czech Republic; the Babraham Institute, UK; the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Germany; the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain; VA (Public & Science), Sweden; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility, Czech Rpublic; and the ANT Foundation, Italy. Also in attendance were two members of the Advisory Board, Daniel Rencrantz, Vinnova, Sweden and Ignasi  Lopez, La Caixa Foundation, Spain plus the EC Project Officer, Ralluka Iagher.