Setting directions for research and innovation is usually not a job of citizens. But the CIMULACT project has paved the way for involving citizens in the actual formulation of research and innovation agendas.

”Projects like CIMULACT have made interaction with citizens possible” is written by the EU Commission in the introduction of the Research and Innovation (R&I) Work Programme Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 expects to invest 30 billion Euros in R&I over the period 2018-2020 and is hereby the most powerful program me for setting directions for R&I in the EU. With the statement the Commission indicates to have integrated central aspects of visions for sustainable and desirable futures developed by citizens across Europe during the CIMULACT project.

͞”We are happy to see that the EU Commission has listened to what European citizens find important to prioritise in research and innovation”, says CIMULACT’s project coordinator Lars Klüver, Danish Board of Technology, who is proud to see three years of interaction with citizens, experts and stakeholders in EU’s R&I agenda settings have been useful and appreciated by the Commission.

CIMULACT stands for ’Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020’. The aim of the project has been to engage European citizens in EU’s R&I agenda Horizon 2020 and consequently to the preparation of the Framework Programme 9 Horizon Europe.

Since the project was launched in 2015, thousands of citizens have been consulted along with experts and stakeholders. Together they have formulated themes that people from R&I communities can apply for funding for through Horizon 2020.

The principle of engaging citizens in R&I is not new in the EU Commission, where engagement is a core value and principle for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). But although it has been a high priority for the Commission to integrate citizens’ view in the R&I agenda, it has been a difficult goal to reach.

CIMULACT is a lynchpin in making EU research agendas open to society being grounded in societal needs and demands. But also OECD has chosen CIMULACT as one of 6 good practice cases for engaging citizens in science.

CIMULACT has in other words shown that it is relevant to engage citizens in defining R&I agendas, and not least that it is possible.

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There are 29 partners in CIMULACT  (cimulact.eu) led by the coordinator the Danish Board of Technology Foundation (Denmark). As a work package leader in CIMULACT, Prospectiva designed and implemented the online consultation platform, with interfaces in 30 languages.