Sparks – Rethinking innovation together is a European project aiming to promote and develop science engagement and education among European citizens, as part of the wider concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). RRI defines a transparent and interactive process in which the research community along with industries, citizens and politicians become mutually responsible for scientific and technological advances, taking into consideration their ethical acceptability, sustainability and social desirability, in order to properly better embed them in the society.
RRI initiatives seek to bring issues related to research and innovation into the public space, in order to decrease the distance between science and society and to actively involve citizens in discussions and debates on how science and technology can help create a more peaceful, fair and inclusive world.
Sparks is a project to familiarise and engage European citizens with the concept and practice of RRI through the topic of technology shifts in health and medicine. More concretely, Sparks aims to:
Communicate the benefits and challenges of using emerging technologies in healthcare and medicine via a touring exhibition that was presented in 28 EU countries and showed 7 individual stories of citizen scientists, creative and disruptive visions of artists on the topic and local case studies
Actively involve EU citizens, scientists and innovators in discussions around health and well-being through specially designed activities and workshops (reverse science cafés, science espressos, pop-up science shops, incubation and scenario workshops and hackathons)
SPARKS Toolkit - This Toolkit is an easy to use guide to identify the activity that best fits your objectives and resources, to understand and to prepare Science Espressos, Reverse Science Cafés, Pop-up Science Shops and Scenario Workshops.
Learnings from the SPARKS project - The current document's main objective is to conceptualise the knowledge acquired in the SPARKS project, in order to contribute to the development of a wider Responsible Research and Innovation governance framework across Europe. It presents the results of the empirical research undergone throughout the project with the purpose of measuring SPARKS outcomes. The learnings can be strapolated to other project on public Engagement and RRI.
Shaking up science & society relations: policy recommendations from the Sparks project - This document puts forth five key policy recommendations from the Sparks project. European, national and regional policymakers are invited to reflect on how they can be integrated into policy and implemented on the ground. The recommendations were drafted by the Sparks consortium and validated by 150 participants of the project's final Forum.
Sparks Handbook for participatory activities - Guidelines for each of the organisations hosting the Sparks Exhibition "Beyond the Lab: The DIY science revolution" - with a wider scope: discover Responsible Research and Innovation in action and get a deep insight on how to run innovative participatory activities.
Sparks Inception Report - The goal of this report is to offer to all the partners of Sparks a common understanding of the technological shifts that are influencing the fields of health and medicine and of how RRI can be identified, discussed, and modelled in the activities that will be developed for Sparks. The report provides an overview of current and future trends at the intersection of technology, health, and medicine. These trends are contextualized in the practice of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).