4th Nucleus Conference Programme

Living RRI: opening research to the needs and values of society

                                                                   11-12 October 2018, Valletta, Malta

The 4th NUCLEUS Conference will present the results from nearly three years of case studies and RRI test-beds designed to apply stakeholder-related approaches of Responsible Research and Innovation in real contexts. The programme is shaped so participants can explore new thinking and governance frameworks to help research institutions develop trust, engagement and innovation.


Through practical case-studies shared by NUCLEUS partners, our Living Network, and other projects, participants will be presented with new approaches, and new tools to help them imagine new networks and ways of collaborating within their organisations.


Conference Day 1

Thursday 11th October
Aula Magna, Valletta Campus
Moderated by Bernie Quillinan, University of Limerick

9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 9:40 Welcome from Professor Godfrey Baldacchino, Pro-Rector for International Development & Quality Assurance on behalf of the Rector Prof. Alfred Vella
9:40 – 10:00


Conference Opening: The NUCLEUS project and aims of the 4th Annual Conference

Professor Alexander Gerber, NUCLEUS Project Lead

10:00 – 10:55


Keynote: Mainstreaming RRI in policy making

Giulia Bubbolini, Economist, member of the Italian Centre for Innovation and Economic Development, CISE

In her keynote speech Ms. Bubbolini will share insights into the scope for, and importance of, aligning practices and procedures between all actors to deliver meaningful public policies for societal impact. Her talk draws on her extensive experience in projects focusing on innovation systems, renewable energy and energy efficiency, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the talk.

10:55 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 13:15 Living RRI: Insights from 10 NUCLEUS institutions

Caitríona Mordan (Dublin City University) and Menelaos Sotiriou (ScienceView).

This session outlines the NUCLEUS shared process adopted by 10 institutions across Europe, China and South Africa, for implementing RRI culture change strategies.

Representatives from the 10 institutions will share insights into progress made and key lessons learned on their journey at the interim stage of the process. The session will close with a moderated discussion following the short reports presented by:

Penny Haworth, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa

Marco Rustemeyer, Ruhr University, Germany

Amalia Verzola, University of Lyon, France

Nino Sharikadze, Ilia State University, Georgia

Marija Segan-Radonjic, MISANU, Serbia

Hans-Joachim Sonntag, University of Malta, Malta

Lei Yinru, Wetlands Research Institute, China

Annette Klinkert, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Anne Dijkstra, Twente University, The Netherlands

Representative member of Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom

13:15 – 14:15 Energising social lunch
14:15 – 15:00 Living RRI: What happens between the lines matters

Dr Marie Briguglio leads research within an RRI framework at the University of Malta. She regularly works with stakeholders in policy and civil society. Her talk will introduce a panel discussion with senior leaders from the University of Malta and representatives from external cells. They will discuss the perceptions, challenges and local cultural norms that can provide the context for implementing culture change projects, such as NUCLEUS, in institutions and in local communities.

15:10 – 16:50 Parallel Workshops: How to…

Delegates will participate in two 45-minute workshops aimed at providing practical knowledge, tips and advice for setting up and delivering key elements of the NUCLEUS approach.

1.     Develop RRI media-training for researchers – Claire O’Connell – Irish Science Technology Journalist’s Association

2.     Work with organisations/communities to engage with Higher Education Institutions- Bernie Quillinan, University of Limerick

3.     Embed RRI in curricula – EnRRICH Project

4.     Integrate responsible research in urban sustainability practice – Jan Riise, Mistra Urban Futures

5.     Mainstream RRI into policy – Giulia Bubbolini, MARIE Interreg Project

6.     Motivate public, administrators and researchers’ engagement through arts – Luiza Bengtsson, ORION Project

7.     Prepare evidence from participatory research for meaningful impact- Bálint Bálasz, InSPIRES Project

8.     Develop and share RRI best practice studies– Clare Shelley-Egan, Auke Pols and Franke van der Molen,  RRI-Practice Project

16:50 – 17:20 Discussion to reflect on the main points shared during the workshop

Moderator: Bernie Quillinan

17:20 – 18:00 Networking – Open floor

Coffee and beverages will be provided

18:00 onwards Boat to Esplora Science Centre: Tour
19:30 – 22:30 Social Dinner and return to Valletta, Floriana, Sliema, St Julian’s


Conference Day 2

Friday 12th October
Aula Magna, Valletta Campus

9:00 – 9:30 Welcoming coffee
9:30 – 9:40 Moderator: Roundup from Day 1
9:40 – 9:50 Welcome by Government Representative
9:50 – 10:45 Keynote: Public engagement and culture change

Paul Manners, Director of the National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK

Paul Manners will share his knowledge of the evolving arena of public engagement. What are the critical things that institutions should be doing that supersede language and are needed for cultural change? How do you deal with responsiveness? What are the fundamentals of institutional change that we must bring forward?

10:45 – 12:00 Alchemical Workshop: Transforming findings into the gold of policy and practice

The alchemical workshop is an innovative way to involve everyone in transforming the materials provided by NUCLEUS and other RRI contributors into the recommendations sought by practitioners and policymakers. Using a range of different processes, the workshop will explore the ways in which the needs and values of RRI can open research to the needs and values of society. We may not be able to promise the Philosophers’ Stone but we can offer several fresh ways to look at RRI.

Led by Peter Brok, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

12:00 – 12:20 Coffee break
12:20 – 13:15


Keynote: Building bridges for a culture change

Maria Acaso, Education researcher, expert in Divergent and Artistic thinking

Maria Acaso is among the leading figures, in Spain and Latin America, of the movement “Educational Revolution,” what she calls #rEDUvolution. Her main interest is to promote a change of paradigm in the teaching community. In order to achieve this goal, she proposes that the central issue in 21st century education will not be about What (content) but How (methodologies), making a bridge between arts and academic education. She will share how disruptiveness can help us in building new bridges and catalyzing the debates that matter.

Q&A Session

13:15 – 14:15 Networking lunch
14:15 – 15:35


Policy Lab: Thinking ahead begins today

After 3 years of intense work, the NUCLEUS project is now in a position to start preparing the “DNA” of RRI. What are the main lessons that can be translated into recommendations? How do we connect these learnings with research? What do we need for making our recommendations sustainable beyond the project?

Join the discussion together with: Alexander Gerber, Jan Riise, Paul Manners, Daan Schuurbiers, Giulia Bubbolini and Caitríona Mordan

Moderator: Bernie Quillinan

15:35 – 15:50 Closing remarks: Professor Alexander Gerber, Project Lead
15:50 – 16:00 Conference Close
16:30 – 18:30 General Assembly: Close meeting with NUCLEUS Consortium Partners

Coffee break included.

19:00 – 20:00 Trip to Mdina and short tour
20:00 – 23:00 Dinner at Bacchus Restaurant
23:30 Bus return to Valletta, Floriana, Sliema, St Julian’s


Note that the programme is subject to change, and will be updated continuously up to the conference. If you have any comments or questions related to the programme, please contact Andrea Troncoso: atr@hsrw.eu