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Accepted Paper:

Universities as spaces and places of social innovation  
Jens Dorland (Aalborg University Copenhagen) Michael Soegaard Joergensen (Aalborg University)

Paper short abstract:

Through case studies from Europe and Latin America, roles of universities as spaces and places of research and innovation in cooperation with civil society and communities are discussed. The analyses contribute to STIS theory about the role of universities in governance of science and technology

Paper long abstract:

The role of universities in research and innovation is one of the important topics in STIS with focus on social shaping of laboratory work, and more recently the role of social scientists in research within areas like nano and biotechnology. Parallel to this, different forms of governance of science and technology (including at universities) have developed and exist today in parallel: the deficit model (Public Understanding of Science), a dialogue and risk assessment model with focus groups, stakeholder dialogues, citizens juries etc., and an upstream participation model aiming at influencing research at an earlier state than in the risk assessment model.

Another field of STIS focuses on university research in cooperation with civil societies and communities where universities act as spaces and places of research. There is the action research field within the social area and the area of working environment. Another type of space for this type of research cooperation is science shops that emerged the 1970s. An important element of science shops are students carrying out projects as part of their curricula, based on requests to the science shop.

In the TRANSIT project (Transformative social innovation theory) two new types of spaces and places at universities for research with civil societies and communities, Fab Labs and labs for social innovation and sustainability (DESIS labs) have been analysed and compared with the fields of action research and science shops. The co-shaping of these new spaces/places and their local context in some countries in Europe and Latin America are analysed.

Panel T086
Rethinking innovation and governance
  Session 1 Thursday 1 September, 2016, -