Event review: Open dialogue and mutual learning meeting (Day 1)

The two-day event focused on engaging academia with and for public/citizens and engaging academia with and for business.

May 29, 2023

The event focused on engaging academia with and for public/citizens (Day 1) and engaging academia with and for business (Day 2). Open dialogue and mutual learning was facilitated between interest groups (academia, public and industry sector).

Date: 18-19 May 2023
Location: Rectorate building, University of Novi Sad
Local organizer: University of Novi Sad (UNS)
Format: physical

Who attended the event?

During two days, the event gathered 47 participants (on Day 1) and 42 participants (on Day 2) from the Western Balkans and beyond.

Figure 1. Picture taken at the end of Day 1
Figure 2. Picture taken at the end of Day 2

What happened at the event?

The idea was to bring together academia, public and industry from all WB countries (of WBC-RRI.NET project) and beyond to present primarily citizen science in the region, as well as their innovative work (either as practical solutions/projects or as innovative ideas for problem-solving resulting in establishing companies) to their colleagues from academia and business, and the wider public. Furthermore, the main goal of the event was to enable mutual learning and open dialogue between and across different stakeholder groups (academia, public, industry representatives) resulting in an overview of good practices in engaging academia in the innovation creation processes. Day 1 focused mainly on citizen science and projects in that domain, workshop helping participants to prepare a citizen science project, as well as showcasing examples of innovations from UNS following RRI principles. Day 2 focused on presenting successful company originating from academia and smart innovations, as well as on pitching event (best innovation idea competition).


Invited keynote presentation:
Citizen science in Europe, Enrico M. Balli, European Citizen Science Association, Berlin

  • Presentation of citizen science associations across the world;
  • ECSA vision: A world where people are empowered to make a positive change through science;
  • ECSA mission: Make science and research open, accessible and valuable for everyone;
  • Strategic topics: (1) Democratisation of science, (2) Inclusion and diversity, (3) Participation, (4) Planetary health and sustainable development;
  • Presentation of ECSA projects: 17 projects in 33 countries with 236 partners in more than 20 topics;
  • Working groups of ECSA: 16 working groups in various fields;
  • What is Citizen science and what are citizen science main challenges.

Perspectives on citizen science projects
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Snezana Smederevac, University of Novi Sad
Speakers: Dobrivoje Lale Eric, Center for promotion of science, Belgrade, Serbia; Violeta Djerkovic, Cultural Stations, Novi Sad; Dr. Mirko Djordjevic, Institute for Biological Research “Sinisa Stankovic”, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Figure 3. Speakers of the roundtable (from left to right): Dobrivoje Lale Eric, Violeta Djerkovic, Dr. Mirko Djordjevic
Figure 4. Roundtable participants with moderator Prof. Dr. Snezana Smederevac (left)
  • Expanding citizen science in Serbia;
  • What is RRI and why it is important;
  • RRI within the Horizon Europe: vision, R&I missions and SDGs;
  • Citizen science in Serbia: Action Plan 2021-23 of the Strategy of Scientific and Technological Development of Serbia; Identified actors, practitioners or promoters;
  • The Network of Cultural Stations as an innovative model of the cultural management – its impact and visibility;
  • Authenticity of cultural heritage and links to local Community;
  • Cultural stations working method: connecting & sharing;
  • The future and achieved results of cultural stations;
  • Citizen science: the role of researchers and volunteers;
  • Presentation of citizen science project “Opasulji se”;
  • Experience and conclusions from citizen science projects.

Citizen science project workshop – 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) facilitated by Dr. Selka Sadikovic and Dr. Ilija Milovanovic from the University of Novi Sad

Figure 6. Workshop moderators (left to right): Dr. Ilija Milovanovic and Dr. Selka Sadikovic
  • Workshop was focused on how to prepare citizen science projects and how to make it interesting for citizens, where few case studies were presented.
  • Topics were chosen based on backgrounds of participants from the audience.
  • Participants were divided into groups, discussing and developing the ideas to address the topics chosen, and create their own project proposals.
  • Guide for Citizen Science was presented.
  • Workshop resulted in presentations of each project proposal created within the workshop groups, followed by the discussion and comments by the audience.
Figure 7. Workshop participants

The Day 1 was concluded by presenting examples of innovations towards citizens from University of Novi Sad following RRI principles: HerbElixa innovation (health sector) and Eco Hive innovation (ICT sector).

Figure 7. UNS innovation examples: HerbElixa (left) and Eco Hive (right)