Radio Astronomy driving new competences and innovation on the European scale

LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is the world’s largest and most sensitive low frequency radio telescope. It was designed, built, and is now operated by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. LOFAR’s reach now spans Europe – from Ireland to Poland, with the newest LOFAR antenna station being delivered to Ventspils University of Applied Sciences in Latvia. Here we propose that LOFAR is a prime example of how state-of-the-art facilities leads to the sharing and building of competencies and innovation: it is one of today’s major success stories of research infrastructures on a European scale.

Conflicting values of biomedical innovation?

The term ‘value’ is at the centre of an increasingly explicit debate in the fields of health and healthcare policy. ‘Value’ is understood in many different ways and diverging interests are being mobilised. How are values in biomedical innovation being expressed, represented, materialised and aligned or contested in different areas of biomedicine? How do values embedded in regulation, public health, economic policies, healthcare provision, technology assessment, producers’ strategies, and patient organisation movements shape biomedical innovations? At an ESOF discussion in Toulouse multidisciplinary perspectives on value between panel members and public participants will be explored and possible pathways to common solutions identified that promote socially acceptable biomedical innovation in the European context.

Webinar: “Responsible Research and Innovation: a check-up”

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become a buzzword in European science in the last few years. Scientists must fill in the RRI section in their European project and sometimes they don’t know what to write there. Others are anxious to have the RRI tag attached to their communication and PR activities. But what RRI really is? Why is it needed? How could science and society benefit from this approach? The strict definition of RRI implies a radical change in the way of conceiving scientific projects from the very beginning, bringing a wide range of stakeholders (from companies to activists, from designers to patients…) in defining the scientific agenda. Are researchers prepared for that? What is the actual level of implementation of RRI in European science? What policies are there in place to facilitate this process?

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Plant nutrition Innovation Awards open for applications

Two researchers or research laboratories from across the world will be awarded a total of 60,000 euros each, as part of the 2018 Groupe Roullier Innovation Awards. Previous winners have had their work from a broad range of research areas, including plant nutrition, soil science, biocontrol and plant engineering, among others. This is a unique opportunity to get financial support for work which is likely to benefit the sponsor of the competition.

Breaking grounds in research and innovation through Indo-European partnerships

India and the European Union have become important research and innovation partners over the past years. One of the most important areas of cooperation is Science, Technology and Innovation. EU-funded projects such as INNO INDGIO and INDIGO POLICY will present final results at a conference on 26th April 2017 in Ghent, Belgium, that will include discussions with a panel of high profile European and Indian experts. The event is aimed at stakeholders from policy & programme management level, who are involved in EU-India Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation.

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The many lives of Responsible Research and Innovation

From a distance, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) displays all of the features of a passing fashion. Yet, there is substance to it. In particular, this approach offers an opportunity to redefine divisions of moral labour in our societies. In this stimulating opinion piece, Arie Rip, professor of philosophy of science and technology at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, shares his perspective as a sociologist on the recent trend to reflect on research goals and include more actors in the research and innovation processes.

Callinicus: the importance of scientists, knowledge, and innovation

The role that scientific advances and technological innovations play on the fate of civilisations is illustrated by numerous examples, including food-related developments (improved species in agriculture and livestock), health (hygiene and the discovery of antibiotics), and lifestyle (popularisation of the internet). However, none of these examples triggers immediate effects on the nation’s evolution as those innovations related to military technology.