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ROSIE: Innovation in Practice Event

by Jonathan Hankins [1], 16 April 2019

The latest meeting of the ROSIE Interreg project [2] was held on 3-4 April 2019, hosted at the Innovative Solutions and New Technologies conference in Lublin, Poland. I (Jonathan Hankins) attended on behalf of the Bassetti Foundation in his role as Responsible Innovation expert attached to the project. The following is a short report on proceedings and some personal reflections on the experience.

As readers may know I have been collaborating on the ROSIE project for the last 18 months. The project aims to introduce the concept of Responsible Innovation to SME's across a broad swathe of central Europe. Partners include several Chambers of Commerce and other regional organizations such as our hosts for this meeting Wojewodztwo Lubelskie (LuVo), a public administration body and key institution in the regional innovation system of Lublin, Poland, working in planning processes and financial administering.

Each ROSIE meeting lasts 2 days, the first a partner meeting and the second a broader event that offers the host institutions the chance to show their particular approach to the project and offer and receive advice and input to and from the other members and the associated experts gathered for the occasion.

My own interpretation of the first day having spoken to all of the partners is that this meeting seems to have brought the consortium together, with the sharing of research and action experiences allowing the partners to hone their operations, leading to the definition of a coherent and practical set of different approaches and standpoints.

This in itself is a great result, as the problem of recruiting SME's to a project that requires the investment of time and new lines of questioning to be answered for busy businesses in challenging times is not an easy one to answer. The fact that the consortium has worked towards these goals and arrived at a coherent strategy certainly shows their collective tenacity and supports investigation into a field that is underrepresented in current Responsible Innovation literature, that of the position of small and medium sized enterprises in the innovation system as a whole and how they could be approached and involved in the broader RI project.

The first day closed with a social dinner in Lublin old town, again an opportunity to share ideas and experiences.

Day 2 saw the project partners and associates take their places at the Eighth Exhibition of Innovative Solutions and New Technologies [3] Conference held in Lublin Arena, with ROSIE Project leader Guilia Bubbolini making the first Keynote Speech of the event.

In Bringing Responsible Innovation Closer to SME's: The Interreg CE ROSIE Experience, Bubbolini first introduced the concept of responsible innovation to the conference delegates before moving on to explaining the ROSIE project's aims and objectives and describing the EU's involvement in Responsible Research and Innovation.

The Keynote was followed by the inaugural lecture. Mariusz Krawiek, Professor at UMCS (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin) delivered Silicene, an Innovative Material of Future Nanoelectronics. The lecture was not too technical, with the Professor able to explain how using first-principles density functional theory calculations, the properties of silicene, including binding energy, properties of the Dirac cone and magnitude of the energy gap, can easily be manipulated by quantum well states of the substrate to a non-technical audience. Quite a feat in itself.

The coffee break was followed by the ROSIE panel discussion. The panel opened with three presentations:
Joanna Rzeszutek presented the work of BIOTOP, Jan Gozdz of EUREKAINZ and Monika Plonska and Marek Sieprawski the social responsibility credentials of the chemical group AZOTY, all describing their participation in the ROSIE project and experience of working alongside the Polish partners in the project (in Polish with translation).

After lunch the various members of the ROSIE consortium visited the Innovative Solutions and New Technologies conference hosted upstairs in the Arena. The exhibition contained a host of interesting stands, several crewed by students from the local university.

Of particular interest were a pair of psychology researchers who were demonstrating a tool that could measure beta waves in the brain via EEG and transcribe the data into movements onto a computer screen. The waves augment with concentration and lower as concentration is lost, allowing the participant to play a game such as driving a car whose speed was determined by concentration level. The games are developed in order to train concentration spans, leading to a long conversation about possible dual use and the ethical implications of the development of such technology (imagine what Tesla could do with it).

Other students offered experiments based upon their experiences of attending the forensic chemistry degree, various uses of plastics and polymers alongside other psychology experiments all of which are drawn from the local University in Lublin.

There were also exhibitors from industry, with innovative physiotherapy machines, laboratory mixers and a range of nanoscale microscopes on display. The exhibition was supported by a large poster presentation section, much of which was also addressed to polymers and energy harvesting, another focus for the Polish language section of the conference.

This was an interesting event on many levels. Lublin is a lovely city with an impressive castle on its central hill. There is a large Jewish ghetto that is still suffering from the loss of its population in the last century, a Second World War concentration camp lies on the outskirts of the city. There is very little written or spoken English, the conference and almost all of its published materials were in Polish, as was all of the tourist information. I and several others from the conference were unable to work out how to find the airport bus and nobody was able to tell us (in English) how to find it, and there were no signs, which in itself is refreshing in the European Union (as long as you have enough time to reflect upon the experience at the airport).

Here some Photos of the event:


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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Jonathan Hankins
  2. 2] https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/ROSIE.html
  3. 3] http://cine.edu.pl/
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ROSIE: Innovation in Practice Event
Articles by:  Jonathan Hankins
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