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Research and innovation

About the code of practice

The Code of practice on citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation provides guidance and relevant tools for research and innovation actors. It facilitates the creation of an enabling environment and participatory processes and practices of sustainable citizen engagement for improved knowledge valorisation. It introduces a new strategic approach for research and innovation actors to engage citizens to produce and valorise knowledge.

Why we need a Code of practice on citizen-engagement

Citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation is key to accelerate the uptake of innovative solutions and to develop new technologies, products, and services to address the most pressing societal challenges while ensuring fair and inclusive transitions.

In line with the Guiding Principles, the new Code of practice encourages connections and co-creation between all research and innovation actors and emphasises the importance of entrepreneurial skills and practices. It raises awareness and fosters cultivating skills and knowledge and developing new models that support behavioural changes and transformations within society.

The Code of practice is addressed to all those involved in research and innovation. The recommendations build on the input from the community of practice on citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation that brought together more than 120 participants from 21 EU and 6 other countries.

Main elements of the Code of practice

Creating an enabling environment for sustainable citizen engagement

  1. Strategy, valorisation roadmap, synergies and capacity building
    The Code encourages organisations to develop an engagement strategy, including impact pathways, a roadmap to ensure value creation for economy and society, as well as calling organisations to develop synergies, and emphasise on building capacities and developing skills in participatory processes.
  2. Trans-disciplinarity and management of intellectual assets
    The Code calls for collaboration across different sectors and domains and appropriate management of intellectual assets, including acknowledging citizens’ contributions and adapting an open science approach.
  3. Social inclusion, diversity and gender equality
    The Code gives recommendations about ensuring engagement of all target groups and addressing barriers to participation, as well as including specific professional skills and profiles needed.
  4. Replication and scalability
    The Code gives recommendations how to promote the replication and scalability of citizen engagement actions, including through toolkits, guidelines and best practices, platforms and the role of intermediaries.
  5. Awareness and recognition
    The Code calls for increasing awareness, including through campaigns and training, and recognition of the engagement efforts, such as through incentives and rewards, prizes, and other recognition schemes.
  6. Evaluation framework
    The Code gives recommendations for assessing the efficacy of citizen engagement and participatory processes that lead to knowledge valorisation, considering key areas for an evaluation framework and including appropriate indicators and metrics.


Managing citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation

  1. Incentives and expectations
    The Code recommends to clearly define and communicate the incentives that different actors have for engaging for knowledge valorisation and identify the expectations of all participants while put in place mechanisms for managing expectations and resolving conflicts, in a transparent way that strengthens trust.
  2. Keeping the impetus
    The Code provides recommendations how to keep the impetus throughout the engagement process, including trust building, transparency, and offering appropriate training.
  3. Defining appropriate implementation method(s)
    The Code recommends to identify the appropriate method or mix of methods for the implementation that best match the characteristics of the action with different methods/tools, building upon existing expertise, and sharing lessons learned.
  4. Communication strategy
    The Code includes recommendations for developing and implementing an appropriate communication strategy including feedback and communication outwards to inspire others and provide practical examples for future initiatives.
  5. Digital technologies
    The Code recommends to use the potential of digital technologies to facilitate citizens engagement actions, through promoting digital solutions with a human-centric and sustainable design, supporting skills development and fostering inclusiveness.