Accepted paper:

"Too complicated!" Making stakeholder involvement in research programming more equitable and transparent


Michael Strähle (Wissenschaftsladen Wien - Science Shop Vienna)
Christine Urban (Science Shop Vienna - Wissenschaftsladen Wien)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

Policy makers and researchers engage with stakeholders to increase legitimacy of research and innovation governance and to address societal challenges. It is expected that involving stakeholders, end-users, consumers or citizens at large makes research and innovation governance more democratic by making it more inclusive. It is hoped that such procedures improve the probability of arriving at more "real" solutions to societal problems. There are open questions as to whether stakeholder involvement lives up to its promise, either in a policy or research context, because the engagement processes could - and, deliberately or not, sometimes do - result in serving particular interests.

In the framework of the INPROFOOD project the authors coordinated an international stakeholder involvement on research programming on food and health in connection with environmental and social sustainability. In 13 countries stakeholder consultations have been held. It was one of the objectives to address some weaknesses of stakeholder involvement at all stages, from the setting up to the implementation through to documentation as much transparency as possible was maintained. The authors will present lessons learned and show what has been done to make stakeholder involvement more transparent, initiatives that have worked out well and others that failed. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for improving such engagement activities, naming research needs on stakeholder involvement, and reflections on how the status quo of stakeholder involvement influences democratic European research and innovation governance.

panel C3
Stakeholder involvement: An inclusive or exclusive practice?