Ilia State University (ISU) was founded in 2006 as a result of a merger of six different academic institutions with long and varied histories. Currently, it is one of the leading research and educational institutions in Georgia. ISU is a rapidly developing university thanks to its innovative approaches in creating scientific and technological progress. The university is host of several public engagement events like the Science Cafés and the Science Picnic.
During this first implementation phase, ISU developed an RRI Policy Brief and held a series of internal meetings with several heads of laboratories and faculties, as well as with the PR department to talk about RRI policy, committee and strategy. In order to build institutional bridges between the research community, they worked with internal stakeholders to identify networks of external stakeholders. They also met once a month with a science popularization office to talk about their future plans regarding RRI.
To connect with external stakeholders, ISU conducted a meeting with the head of the Institute of Earth Science to talk about future collaborations. They also invited different cells (Media, Government and Economy) to Science Café talks and STEM lectures to open up the discussion around the topic. Finally, they also held an Annual Reporting of Research Institutes where the university researchers met each other and shared their results and experience.
On a digital dimension, ISU created a Facebook page to improve usability and share more resources in order to keep the audience up to date in RRI related topics. Also, the website for the Science Picnic (an event they hold annually) is being updated regularly. Related to the transdisciplinary research, ISU met with National Geographic Editor in Chief, a Media key representative. They are also working with PhD students to engage/create dialogue about RRI principles and activities within the project.
For the upcoming months, they scheduled a TV broadcast with the Institute of Earth Science to discuss the arising local problem of massive building projects. Their institute has the ability to make recommendations regarding this issue in order to tighten regulations for this kind of urban development. They plan to tackle other societal problematic issues in future broadcasts.
Finally, they will map out and set up a database on all the transdisciplinary projects taking place at the university in order to identify formats and actors involved in each one of them. They also plan to integrate a Science Communication module in their curricula, and introduce official guidelines and standards in the university´s ethic code.
If you want to know more about the Embedded Nucleus at ISU, write to Nino Sharikadze.