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Experimenting with RRI tools to Drive Sustainable Agri-Food Research: The SASS Case Study from Sub-Saharan Africa

1
Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, P.za della Scienza, 2-20126 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Business and Management, Luiss Guido Carli, Viale Romania 32, 00197 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030827
Received: 16 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
The need to develop experimental tools for a responsible research and innovation (RRI) framework is relevant for managing research agendas and policy making that seriously take into account the complex conditions of innovation development (linked to multidisciplinarity and interaction processes) between the researchers and their fieldwork activities. The adoption of an RRI framework is even more important for multidisciplinary and complex issues, such as the agri-food system. In this context, the SASS (Sustainable Agri-food Systems for Sustainable Development (SASS) project represents a good example for verifying the application of the RRI strategy in a varied research group committed to the development of sustainable agri-food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project, which involves more than 50 researchers from different fields of knowledge and theoretical backgrounds, showed the importance of the processes of reflection, re-driving, and convergence in the definition of research objectives and strategies. This process started by experimenting with new dedicated RRI tools in order to allow interactions between the researchers, including exchanging their experience in data collection and theoretical reflection development. With respect to this analysis, it was interesting to analyze how the RRI tools and strategies have been activated between researchers and different stakeholders, generating reflections capable of re-adapting the results towards shared and accessible innovation for the extended society. Following the discussion based on the description of the SASS-RRI agenda tools and following an internal verification given from an RRI-based web survey, this contribution provides new insights, in terms of tools and strategies, to promote and refine RRI approaches. This work underlines how RRI methods have promoted internal and external interactions to connect the research objectives towards a model of open innovation. View Full-Text
Keywords: agri-food systems; multidisciplinarity; open innovation; peer connection meetings; responsible research innovation; research management; theory of change agri-food systems; multidisciplinarity; open innovation; peer connection meetings; responsible research innovation; research management; theory of change
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Tricarico, L.; Galimberti, A.; Campanaro, A.; Magoni, C.; Labra, M. Experimenting with RRI tools to Drive Sustainable Agri-Food Research: The SASS Case Study from Sub-Saharan Africa. Sustainability 2020, 12, 827.

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