Published on January 9, 2014



By Houda Davis

Houda Davis is a Research Assistant at Involve interested in participation in health, the environment and science and technology.

engage2020-website-header-smallInvolve is part of the delivery consortium for Engage2020 -a project funded by the European Commission (DG Research). The project looks at research, innovation and related activities and asks how members of society are involved today, and perhaps more importantly how they could be in the future. Over the next year and a half the project will map how, where and why members of the public, stakeholders, consumers and other groups are engaged in the research process, from early policy development to the delivery of research activity.

With the European Commission’s Horizon 2020  Research and Innovation programme being the largest to date with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years it is clear that the stakes for engagement are very high. With the Horizon 2020 funding already available Engage2020 will produce written results by autumn 2014, so that the results can influence the 2015 calls of Horizon2020.

Engage2020 aims to increase the use of engagement methods and policies by mapping what is happening and spreading awareness of the opportunities amongst researchers, policy makers and other interested parties. We will map existing policies, structures, methods, approaches, tools and instruments, as well as highlighting promising new or adapted approaches we would like to see in the future. The European Commission has identified six Grand Challenges -key issues where focussed research is needed -ranging from demographic change to security. The Engage2020 project will highlight engagement policies and methods which are suited to engaging members of society in Research and Innovation activities related to these six Grand Challenges.

Engage2020 will looks at the involvement of members of society in research and innovation activities in many different roles, including as consumers, affected parties and citizens. Public engagement in European research and innovation activities is relatively high by international standards, but it is unevenly distributed, both geographically and based on issue areas.

We hope that Engage2020 will spread participative practice from the pockets of excellence, such as the foresight community and Science Shops, to wider groups.

For more information please contact or see the Engage 2020 webpage.

Image: Edward Anderson

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