This study assessed the implementation, results, and wider impacts of the “Science and Society” and “Science in Society” programmes, projects and activities in Framework Programme 6 and 7 (FP6 and FP7) – as well as their legacy in the development of ‘Science with and for Society' in Horizon 2020.
The findings and conclusions were presented to stakeholders and discussed during a final workshop in Brussels. Participants discussed future developments for science-society policy action under Horizon 2020 and FP9, and ways to increase the effectiveness of future actions. All of the study’s findings and recommendations were validated by the participants, who also emphasised further areas for improvement including policy aspects.
The participants stressed the need to maintain a science-society programme in order to ensure continuity in the main topics and coordination with other EU programmes.
FP9 should establish links between science-society policies and regional innovation strategies developed by partner regions. This could also be done through platforms for discussion bringing together all projects funded under SwafS and other Horizon2020 pillars (e.g. excellence). Science-society policies should aim to involve the wider community, including civil society organisations and new entities (e.g. regions/municipalities), in workshops and consultations during the project life cycle. To a larger extent, projects should also branch out internationally and include global actors. As regards programme design, the participants underlined the need to ensure clarity of scope, objectives, and criteria in future calls for funding, as well as rules for participation that facilitate the involvement of small entities that may be closer to citizens and society. In order to achieve wider impacts at national, regional and local levels, participants suggested putting greater focus on the sustainability of the funded actions beyond the lifetime of funding and introducing Key Performance Indicators for the programme and its individual projects.