CRG coordinates ORION, a new European initiative to open up research to society

By June 9, 2017CRG

ORION is a new collaborative European project to explore ways in which research and funding organizations in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organize and do research. One of the BIST centres, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) coordinates ORION and is one of the nine partners in the project. ORION kicked off in Barcelona in May.

Open science is a core strategy of the European Commission that involves widening participation and collaboration as well as sharing research processes and outcomes to improve research and innovation. All European Union members recognise the benefits of open science, but the transition to “openness” is challenging.

The ORION project will help research and funding organizations to understand existing challenges in Open Science and implement institutional, cultural, and behavioral changes in how they carry out and manage research.

“New models of working require novel cooperative approaches that engage lots of different actors, such as researchers, funders, publishers, patient organisations, citizens, students, teachers, or companies,” explains Michela Bertero, coordinator of the ORION project and responsible for International and Scientific Affairs at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain.

“It is often difficult to open up fundamental research in life sciences and biomedicine to different stakeholders, particularly citizens, so the ORION project will be both challenging and interesting,” she adds.

At the heart of the project will be open “co-creation” experiments that engage multiple stakeholders and explore different ways to make scientific research more participatory and inclusive. The experiments will tackle questions such as: how can research organisations receive input from a multitude of stakeholders? How can research funding be made more inclusive? How can public dialogue inform research policy and research content? How can citizens be involved in fundamental research projects?

ORION is a four-year project with a 3.2 million Euros budget funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Partners in the consortium represent a mixture of expertise in fundamental research in life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences, funding, science communication, public engagement, and civil society. The project will be working closely with EU-LIFE, an alliance of top life science research institutes in 13 European countries.

More information on the CRG website.