4thNucleus Conference Programme

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

                                                                   11-12 October 2018, Valletta, Malta

The 4thNUCLEUS Conference will present the results of 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 will explore new thinking and governance frameworks to help research institutions respond effectively to opportunities that build trust, engagement and innovation.


By the end of our conference, participants will be able to imagine new networks and ways of collaborating within their organizations. Through the practical cases shared by the NUCLEUS partners and the Living Network, that includes other projects, participants will learn new tools, ways of triggering process and approaches, and will get information that will help them today and tomorrow.


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 words by Professor Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta
9:40 – 10:10


The NUCLEUS project and aims of the 4th Annual Conference

Professor Alexander Gerber, NUCLEUS Project Leader

10:10 – 10:40


Keynote 1: Giulia Bubbolini, Economist, member of the Italian Centre for Innovation and Economic Development, CISE

Giulia Bubbolini is Head of EU and Institutional Projects at CISE. She has been deeply involved in projects focused on innovation systems, renewable energies and energy efficiency, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responsible research and innovation (RRI). Giulia has a background in economics and marketing, and – starting from total quality managements – she progressively moved onto organisational innovation, with specific reference to open innovation, CSR and eventually RRI. Currently, Giulia coordinates Interreg Europe project MARIE, on mainstreaming RRI in policy making and Interreg Central ROSIE, on supporting implementation of RRI in business strategies and procedures.

10:40 – 10:55 Q&A Session
10:55 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:00


Insights into the structure and setting of RRI cultural and practice change inside research institutions

Led by Caitríona Mordan (Dublin City University), Kenneth Skeldon (Wellcome Genome Center), Heather Rea (University of Edinburg) and Jen Scott (University of Aberdeen), this session will connect the public with the big picture of cultural change in research institutions. As mentors of this processes, each of the leaders will share the common denominators and differences, while sharing a same vision.

12:00 – 13:00 Interactive session: What are we actually doing? Beyond the invitation to be inclusive and diverse

Ten research institutions embarked on the NUCLEUS journey to experiment what is RRI in practice and how to implement open science in a real systemic landscape. We will learn from the practitioners what is on stake when an institution takes this step.

13:15 – 14:15 Energizing  social lunch
14:15 – 14:35


RRI in Malta

The University of Malta is one of the 10 research institutions that are carrying out a cultural change towards open science. Pro Rectors and key stakeholders of this process will share their insights.

Chairperson: Edward Duca

14:35 – 16:05 Parallel Workshops: How  to?

These Training Workshops will support the partners and other delegates implement the NUCLEUS approach through the NUCLEUS Framework. More details about each workshop are to come soon.

1.     Catalysing ongoing debates about the role of science in open societies – Claire O’Connell – Irish Science Technology Journalist Association

2.     Creating a sustainable RRI Network- Bernie Quillinan, University of Limerick

3.     Developing Responsible Researcher skills and competencies – EnRRICH Project

4.     Integrating responsible innovation in processes and business practices – Prisma Project*

5.     Integrating RRI Criteria as a cross-cutting theme on institutional and public policy – Giulia Bubbolini, Marrie Interreg

6.     Open Science as a Tool for Embedding RRI in Research Funding and Performing Organisations – Luiza Bengtsson, Emma Anne Harris, ORION Project

7.     Making upstream public engagement a mainstream research practice- Heather Rea- University of Edinburg

8.     Identifying and supporting best practices to facilitate the uptake of RRI in organisations and research programmesEllen Forsberg, RRI Practice*

*to be confirmed

16:05 – 16:40  Interactive reporting about the Workshops
16:40 – 17:00 Coffee Break
17:00 – 17:50 Interactive discussion:  Living RRI – What does it mean?

Open dialogue with Keynotes and Workshop leaders: Where do they see the enablers? And the barriers?

17:50 Closing of day one – Bernie Quillinan
18:00 Onwards Boat to Esplora Science Centre: Tour
19:15 – 21:30 Social Dinner


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 Mr. Evarist Bartolo, Minister of Education
9:50 – 10:20


Keynote 2: Mr. Paul Manners, Director of the National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UK.

Paul Manners is responsible for the strategic direction of the centre. Originally trained as a secondary English teacher, he worked for twelve years at the Open University as a producer of TV, radio and multimedia before joining the BBC as an executive producer of a number of national public engagement campaigns. He advises a number of national organisations on learning and engagement, including the National Trust and the Science Museum. Paul is a member of the Advisory Board of NUCLEUS.

10:20 – 10:30 Q&A
10:30 – 11:40



Alchemical Workshop: Transforming findings into the gold of policy and practice

Interactive Session

Facilitated by Peter Broks (Rhine-Waal University), 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. We may not be able to promise the Philosophers’ Stone but we can offer several fresh ways to look at RRI.

11:40 – 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 – 13:15 Keynote 3: Maria Acaso, Education researcher, expert in Diverge and Art thinking  

Maria Acaso is among the leading figures, in Spain and Latin America, of the movement “Revolución Educativa,” what she calls #rEDUvolution. Her main interest is to promote this chage of paradigm in the teaching community. In order to achive this goal Professor Acaso proposes that the central issue in the 21st century education will not be about What (content) but How (methodologies)

Ms. Acaso keynote speech will be followed by an interactive session with the public.

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


Policy Lab: Thinking ahead begins today

Main needs & wishes on our road to Brussels.

After 3 years of intense work, the NUCLEUS project and it´s networks start preparing the ground for presenting our “DNA”: What are the main learnings that can be translate to recommendations? How do we bridge them with research? What do we need for making our recommendations sustainble in time?

15:35 – 15:50 Closing remarks: Professor Alexander Gerber, Project leader
15:50 – 16:00 Farewell

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