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Research and innovation
News article21 February 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

CitizensHack2022: the first Knowledge valorisation hackathon with citizens

The CitizensHack2022 took place from 10 to 12 of February 2022 testing a new model to valorise R&I through co-creation with citizens. The jury has awarded three teams as winners of the hackathon:

  • Climate 101 (Norway): a solution using research data to help citizens make choices and change their behaviour by understanding the impact of their daily actions for climate.
  • Nyfiken (Sweden): a solution to share research results with citizens, making science accessible, and building trust in research for society.
  • GardenNFTs (Spain): a solution using non-fungible tokens (NFT) to preserve heritage trees, with the revenues going back to support the gardens and the communities.

Citizens and local communities can play an important role in drawing value from R&I ensuring that research results made in Europe translate to benefits for all parts of society. To strengthen engagement of citizens and local societal actors in co-creating and taking up innovative solutions, we need more experimentation and testing of new approaches. The European Commission launched the CitizensHack2022: The action developed and tested (as a virtual event) a knowledge valorisation hackathon as a way for using research results to provide innovative solutions that are co-created with citizens.

Hackathons are commonly events in which community members collaborate to solve problems, within a competition of a short duration (few days). They take different forms, but most are designed to bring together innovators and researchers from various backgrounds to create shareable solutions to problems of common interest. CitizensHack2022 had a special purpose: not simply to design concrete solutions that can be further developed and taken up by cities and communities or commercialised, but rather to test the hackathon as a model which can provide an effective way for valorisation of R&I through co-creation with citizens and be used by different policies and actors.

The aim of the action has been to develop a Knowledge Valorisation Hackathon concept and methodology and to test it in real life. Local communities, as well as individual citizens, were able to apply for participation and define the challenge they wished to address during the Hackathon. These community driven challenges and citizens groups were matched with researchers to make up the co-creation teams and challenges, of which 25 were selected to take part to the actual event. Each team was composed of at least two participants from R&I communities (researchers and innovators) and at least two participants from local communities (citizens).

Taking into account the current Covid-19 pandemic, the hackathon relied only on on-line tools.

The action has collected feedback and will report on the testing, in particular what worked well, what worked less well, what are critical factors for success and how the whole process can be improved. It will also provide recommendations about the use of hackathons (including scale up potential and replication conditions) as a way to promote knowledge valorisation through citizen engagement.

CitizensHack2022 will provide important policy relevant outcomes to strengthen citizen engagement as a channel for knowledge valorisation. If successful, this can apply to many other policy areas and fields. More details will be published soon.

More information

See more highlights relating to the EU Knowledge Valorisation policy


Publication date
21 February 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation