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InSPIRES: Innovative models for Science Shops

The InSPIRES project brought together practitioners and experts from across and beyond Europe to co-design, jointly pilot, refine and implement innovative models for Science Shops.

The main goal of this 4-year project was to build effective cooperation between science and society by supporting the growth of Science Shops and enabling the expansion of responsible participatory research and innovation in Europe and abroad, in order to tackle key societal challenges that affect the world population.

To accomplish InSPIRES objectives, an international and multidisciplinary consortium has come together, including key players with strong knowledge and expertise in already existing Science Shop models, Citizen Science, Citizen Observatories, Community-based Participatory Research, and Responsible Research and Innovation, but also bringing on board new players from academia, university hospitals, and health care centre clinicians who are interested in implementing these participatory research, innovation and training methodologies.

Athena’s role

  • Co-creating and piloting new science shop models and methodologies that make existing science shops more collaborative and inclusive and that better accomplish the process as described by RRI, Open Science and Impact Evaluation requirements.
  • Facilitating the training of new science shops structures and their steady connection by developing training and information sessions and pedagogical material tailored for the relevant stakeholders, in order to strengthen the growth of science shops.

Lessons and outcomes

  • Implemented 123 Science Shop projects
  • Defined new Science Shops models that are more aligned with Responsible Research and Innovation, Open Science and Impact Evaluation. 
  • Developed, consolidated and actively promoted the InSPIRES Open Platform, in which information about knowledge intermediary structures, civil societies, and other key actors and projects can be found.
  • Developed a Monitoring and Impact Evaluation methodology and online tool, which enables to create evaluation reports automatically.
  • Developed an E-learning platform featuring videos and other training materials in six modules (Introduction to Science Shops; Participatory approaches;  Communication, dissemination, and advocacy;  Context and complexity management;  Reflexivity and ethics; and Monitoring and evaluation). The material is available in multiple languages to support the growth of the Science Shop community.

Banner photo credits: Ana Ferreira Cirigliano – Huacareta, Bolivia, May 2016: Meeting in which representatives of various communities discuss health issues.

What is a Science Shop and why do we need it?

Watch the historical evolution of Science Shops and find out how they contribute to opening up the research stream for co-creation and co-design together with and for society.

Project details