Is there a place for responsible research and innovation in African research institutions? With STARBIOS2 experiences in mind, the team at University of Rome Tor Vergata organised the workshop “RRI in Africa: Challenges and perspectives” to find out.
To achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Developmental Goals, we need responsible research and innovation (RRI). But how do we implement RRI in African bioscience research institutions? At the RRI in Africa workshop, STARBIOS2 gained insights from the experiences of STARBIOS2 members, research and innovation collaboration projects between Italy and Africa, and African students.
Among the around 80 participants were professors and PhD students in Europe and Africa, STARBIOS2 members, rectors of the Somali National University and Evangelic University of Cameroon, representatives of Italian universities (Camerino, Modena, Rome La Sapienza, Rome Tor Vergata, Padua, Parma, Pavia and others) and research institutions (CNR), and UNESCO.
Focusing on RRI implementation in biosciences, some topics of discussion were the RRI approach, the specificity of RRI in Africa, experiences from higher education in Cameroon and Italy, student mobility, and scientific projects of Africa PhD students enrolled in Italian universities.
The discussions resulted in some theories on how to best develop a plan for RRI implementation in African research institutions, and the conclusion that there may be a need to re-think the European strategy for RRI in the African context.