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Home > Focus > 2015, promoting responsible forms of innovation

2015, promoting responsible forms of innovation

by Redazione FGB [1], 25 January 2016

As regular readers will know, the mission of the Bassetti foundation involves promoting and participating in debates surrounding the development of responsible forms of innovation. Each year the foundation forms partnerships and promotes events with governance institutions, universities, private companies, NGO's and foundations and international research groups.

In this short review we cast our lens over 2015, presenting a selection of projects, publications and events that reflect the Foundation's interests and approach.

Responsible Innovation, Promoting Debate

The Foundation holds a position on the Editorial Board of the Taylor and Francis publication The Journal Of Responsible Innovation. The website holds reviews of both the first and second volumes, with a review of the final issue of the first volume available here [2], and the first issue of the second volume here [3]. The new year will see the publication of a further review of the second volume, newly released in December.

2015 saw the continuation of Margherita Fronte's investigational series of publications into biotech start-ups. In February she published an interview with Maurizio Montalti [4], founder of the "Officina Corpuscoli" in Amsterdam. Montalti's goal is not only to produce beautiful artifacts, but to stimulate thought about the central aspects of design (above all the use of materials) and to provoke questions about much more. The nature of humans (the relationship between life and death) or the nature of progress and its relationship to the world and its ecosystem.

The series continued in March with a look at Fondazione Istituto Insubrico, including an interview with its Director Andrea Gambini [5]. Gambini describes the organizations particularities, experiences and aims. Previous posts in the series can be found here [6] and here [7].

The biotech theme was also addressed in December on the occasion of the international meeting on genome editing in human beings held in Washington, with the publication of a short article about the 2015 Hinxton Statement. The Hinxton Group is an international stem cell policy and ethics think tank, with a history of publishing consensus papers. This year's statement is described here [8], and a link provided to the full text.

Equipping the responsible innovators of the Future international meeting on genome editing in human beings held in Washingtion

2015 saw several university collaborations, including with Università degli Studi di Milano Dipartimento di Studi Storici [9] and Politecnico di Milano.

January saw the publication of a series of videos related to the "Internal that Generates the External" cycle of meetings at the Politecnico di Milano. A series of five lectures included lectures by Giuseppe Testa, Roberto Cingolan and others. Further details and links to all of the didactic materials are available here [10].

March saw the release of video materials related to the "Open data: cosa sono e come (ri)usarli" (what is it and how to (re) use it) workshop, held at the Facoltà di Scienze politiche economiche e sociali at the Università degli Studi di Milano. Speakers included the Bassetti Foundation's Angela Simone, and video of all seven interventions are available here [11].

April meant the related publication of a three part article [12] by Fabio Besti entitled Wearable Technologies, Self-perception and Identity at the Threshold of a new Quantified Existence. The articles represent the history of and the debates surrounding the use and development of wearable technologies. Their presentation is extremely original, provoking thought and offering musings across the spectrum of the effect and consequence of such daily use.

In May, the Foundation supported the workshop "Making Sense of Clinical Translation: Ethical, Regulatory and Policy Challenges for Europe and the US.", by offering two travel grants to two early-stage researchers to join the event at Brocher Foundation premises, in Geneve. The two selected scholar presented original research studies dealing with the following sub-themes: translational research and responsible innovation and translational research and open science. Here the programme [13] of the event.

In September the launch of the "Milano: chi scrive la storia di una città in trasformazione? [14]" (Who writes the story of a city in transformation?) Laboratory at the Università degli Studi di Milano Dipartimento di Studi Storici took place, with the participation of the Bassetti Foundation. The entire series of lectures is available to watch on the Foundation's Vimeo [15] page, and the full 10 lecture program [16] available here.

Poiesis Intensive Innovation

January saw the Foundation participate in the "Piccole e grandi idee italiane. Quando l'innovazione fa la democrazia" (Big and Small Italian Ideas. When Innovation Forms Demoracy) workshop with the Camera di Commercio di Monza e Brianza, Piero Bassetti and Massimo Banzi (co-founder of the Arduino Project) were protagonists in a space dedicated to the Triennale Design Museum. Report, Video and photos of the event is available here [17].

July saw the Foundation in the spotlight as the winner of the prestigious Truciolo d'oro 2015 per l'innovazione [18]. The award was presented by the President and Secretary General of APA Confartigianato Milano Monza e Brianza, Giovanni Barzaghi and Paolo Ferrario, was awarded for the Foundation's ''constant work towards the construction of a responsible innovation''.

In November Scientific Director Francesco Samore' participated in a workshop on "Additive Manufacturing [19]". The panel was entitled "Politiche per la manifattura 4.0". Full details here [20].

December saw the publication of a video of the Italic design thinking event held in Milan. The Foundation's participation took the form of  Presiden Bassetti's involvement in an open dialogue during the opening meeting. The event took place at the Milan Polytechnic School of Design, and involved a presentation by Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo. Here video and photos [21].

International Conferences, Agreements and Meetings

March saw the Foundation's participation in the Civil Society in Research and Innovation: What's next? [22] event at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. The event was promoted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the CONSIDER project (Civil society organisations in designing research governance), and was a follow up on the previous Consider Conference. An overview of proceedings and links to relevant websites are  available here [23].

May saw the publication of a report detailing the Foundation's participation in the INSS annual conference, this year held across several sites and conducted both locally and across the internet. This was the second year of consecutive participation, with Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Hankins attending the London leg of the event. Further details available here [24].

In April the Foundation participated in the RRI Tools Hubs Meeting in [25] Lisbon. Around 60 researchers, science communicators, educators and policy makers from 30 countries were present to debate and present concrete examples of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in action. The event was organized by the RRI Tools project [26], a consortium of 26 institutions that brings together considerable experience in the key components of RRI across Europe. The Bassetti Foundation is a member of the Italian hub [27].

During the spring the Foundation was involved in three stakeholder workshops aiming at refining the governance framework for RRI as outlined by the EU funded Res-agora project [28]. Angela Simone, Jonathan Hankins and Cristina Grasseni were all invited to various expert meetings, addressing topics such as funding policy, research approaches and the debate surrounding RI and its relationship to GM food production.

The summer months meant the Foundation's participation in two of the largest Responsible innovation events of the year; the VIRI annual meeting and the NWO Responsible Innovation Conference.

The VIRI meeting was held in Sussex, UK, and as a founding institutional member the Bassetti Foundation was present. The meeting was hosted by SPRU, the Science and Policy research Unit at the University of Sussex, and opened with an introduction from their Professor of Science & Democracy James Wilsdon. VIRI Director Dave Guston then took over, with an outline of aims before the second day of the meeting very much dedicated to early career research presentations and VIRI business. Full details are available here [29].

In August the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) [30] hosted the Fourth International Conference on Responsible Innovation in The Hague, the Netherlands, and the Foundation was once again present. This year's conference theme was Responsible Innovation: a European Agenda? The focus was the multiplicity and divergence of values that are at play in the development of new technologies, as well as the importance of involving stakeholders at all stages in research and innovation processes. The conference aims were also to draw lessons learned from the research projects within the Responsible Innovation program, funded by NWO, as well as invite others to share their experience and research in responsible innovation. Details here [31].

In November the Foundation announced a partnership with Nanonica [32], a Swiss based-company that together with its Spanish-based subsidiary Nanonica Europe S.L. is devoted to knowledge transfer from Academia to Industry in the areas of nanotechnology and microtechnology. The collaboration was born under the auspices of the EU FP7 RRI Tools project, and takes the form of the joint promotion of the Nanonica Prize 2015.

The Nanonica Prize [33] aims at enhancing the translation of Nanotechnology's infinitely large possibilities and enormous growth potential into reality. The award, also known as "The breakthrough of the year", recognizes scientists whose research achievements over the last year represent a breakthrough for the nanotechnology community. The 2015 Nanotechnology breakthrough will be selected from innovations encompassing RRI principles, such as gender issues, ethics, open science, public engagement, science education, social justice and sustainability.

Also In November, Angela Simone represented the Foundation at the 1st UNESCO International Conference on Anticipation. Within the featured session on RRI she presented the paper: "Open Access. The peculiar aspect on RRI in EU funded project". The program of the event is available here [34].

National Events

June saw the Wave Project in Milan. After visiting Paris, Marseille and Lille, Wave - How [35]collective ingenuity is changing the world [36], a project of the BNP Paribas group [37], came to Milan. The Italian event was directed by Trivioquadrivio [38] with the collaboration of the Giannino Bassetti Foundation [39]. The month of June was filled with events in which the protagonists of innovation, selected from within five "currents" - cocreation [40], sharing [41], inclusion [42], circularity [43] and the makers movement [44] - told their stories through exhibitions, workshops, installations and debates. Wave was a large project, with a calendar of 23 events, distributed across 9 sites, and brought to life by more than 80 presenters.

The Bassetti Foundation promoted several events during the proceedings, including Condividere la salute (sharing Health), Makers: dalla bottega leonardesca all’artigiano digitale (Makers: from Leonardesque Workshops to the Digital Artizan), and Co-creare la scienza. Dal public engagement alla citizen science (co-creating Science. From Public Engagement to Citizen Science).

Videos and photos were published throughout the month, a collection of which is available here [45].  

In October President Bassetti spoke at the "Oltre i conflitti ambientali. Dalla partecipazione alle deliberazione [46]" (Beyond Environmental Conflict. From Participation to Deliberation). Organized by Regione Lombardia (Direzione Generale Ambiente, Energia e Sviluppo Sostenibile) and Éupolis Lombardia. Video of the speech is available here [47].

As mentioned above, the events and publications presented above offer an overview of the body of work undertaken over the last twelve months. The Bassetti Foundation would like to thank all of those involved in the many projects mentioned, and those that readers will find searching the website using the Timeline feature above.

We wish all our readers, contributors and collaborators the very best wishes for the coming year, and look forward to filling it up with more events and established and new collaborations.


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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] /en/focus/2015/02/journal_of_responsible_innovat_2.html
  3. 3] /en/focus/2015/06/journal_of_responsible_innovat_3.html
  4. 4] /en/focus/2015/02/the_fungus_of_design.html
  5. 5] /it/focus/2015/03/la_ricerca_e_limpresa_della_fi.html
  6. 6] /it/focus/2014/11/molmed_la_terapia_genica_diven.html
  7. 7] /it/focus/2014/10/okairos_una_storia_di_successo.html
  8. 8] /it/focus/2015/12/the_hinxton_statement_2015.html
  9. 9] http://www.studistorici.unimi.it/
  10. 10] /it/focus/2015/01/il_progetto_dellinterno_che_ge.html
  11. 11] /it/focus/2015/03/open_data_cosa_sono_e_come_riu.html
  12. 12] /en/focus/2015/04/the_self_at_your_wrist.html
  13. 13] http://www.brocher.ch/en/events/147/making-sense-of-clinical-translation-ethical-regulatory-and-policy-challenges-for-europe-and-the-us/
  14. 14] /tags/Laboratorio%20sulla%20citt%C3%A0%20in%20trasformazione
  15. 15] https://vimeo.com/fgbassetti
  16. 16] /it/segnalazioni/2015/09/milano_chi_scrive_la_storia_di.html
  17. 17] /it/focus/2015/02/quando_linnovazione_fa_la_demo.html
  18. 18] /it/focus/2015/07/il_premio_truciolo_doro_alla_f.html
  19. 19] http://www.jcube.org/it/news/JCube_Additive_Manufacturing_2_3_dicembre.html
  20. 20] /it/segnalazioni/2015/11/additive_manufacturing.html
  21. 21] /it/focus/2015/12/italic_design_thinking_lincont.html
  22. 22] http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-civil-society-research-innovation
  23. 23] /en/focus/2015/03/civil_society_in_research_and_.html
  24. 24] /en/focus/2015/05/INSS_annual_conference.html
  25. 25] http://www.rri-tools.cienciaviva.pt/home/
  26. 26] http://rri-tools.eu/
  27. 27] /en/focus/2015/04/the_rri_tools_hubs_meeting.html
  28. 28] http://www.res-agora.eu/
  29. 29] /en/focus/2015/09/viri_first_annual_meeting.html
  30. 30] http://www.responsible-innovation.nl/
  31. 31] /en/focus/2015/09/fourth_nwo_responsible_innovat.html
  32. 32] http://www.nanonica.com/
  33. 33] /en/focus/2015/11/nanonica_prize_2015.html
  34. 34] http://www.projectanticipation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=598
  35. 35] http://www.wave-innovation.com/milano.en/
  36. 36] http://www.wave-innovation.com/milano.en/
  37. 37] http://www.bnpparibas.it/en/
  38. 38] http://www.triq.it/tq/
  39. 39] /en/
  40. 40] http://www.wave-innovation.com/en/co-creation.html
  41. 41] http://www.wave-innovation.com/en/sharing-economy.html
  42. 42] http://www.wave-innovation.com/en/inclusive-economy.html
  43. 43] http://www.wave-innovation.com/en/circular-economy.html
  44. 44] http://www.wave-innovation.com/en/maker-movement.html
  45. 45] /it/focus/2015/07/wave_milano_i_video_e_le_foto.html
  46. 46] http://www.regione.lombardia.it/cs/Satellite?c=Redazionale_P&childpagename=Regione/Detail&cid=1213754140969&pagename=RGNWrapper
  47. 47] /it/focus/2015/10/oltre_i_conflitti_ambientali.html
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2015, promoting responsible forms of innovation
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