Eu-SPRI Conference 2023 Call for Tracks and Special Sessions: Deadline 24th October 2022

Call for Tracks and Special Sessions for the Annual Eu-SPRI 2023 Conference on ‘Research with Impact’


Submission Deadline: 24th October 2022

The 2023 Eu-SPRI Annual Conference will be hosted by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in Brighton, UK. The main conference will take place on 14th – 16th June with a preceding Early Career Event on 13th June.

The conference theme is Research with Impact, and the organising committee are now welcoming academic researchers from a broad range of disciplines, as well as STI policymakers, to submit proposals for tracks and special (stand-alone) sessions.

Research with Impact

In recent years, Science, Technology & Innovation policy globally has increasingly focused on ensuring that researchers engage with wider stakeholders to deliver positive economic impact and address societal challenges. This reflects the growing societal expectations placed on research and innovation, and increased concerns about how well research systems are aligned with the changing needs of society. This demand for research with impact has generated changes in how research is funded, evaluated, organized, and disseminated.

There have also been associated changes in the nature of knowledge production, with new forms of inter-disciplinary, cross-organizational collaborations and knowledge exchange processes being supported. These demands to support research with impact create new challenges for researchers and STI policymakers and raise new questions for STI policy researchers.


Subject Matters for Tracks and Special Sessions

The following are some examples of subject matter that could form the basis of a track/session proposal:

  • The politics and changing governance of science and STI policy
  • The roles of STI policy practitioners in delivering change
  • Changing patterns of innovation across industry and the service sectors as well as responsible innovation
  • The effectiveness of different funding mechanisms, behaviours, and institutional arrangements
  • New approaches for impact evaluation in STI policy
  • Emerging technologies
  • Researching digital transformations and digitalisation
  • Data policy and data intensive research
  • Globalisation and the geography of knowledge and innovation
  • Research for systemic transformations
We aim to encourage discussion around questions such as:
  • How is the impact from research defined, and what kinds of research generate impact?
  • How do societies support the research needed to generate economic, environmental, and societal change?
  • How are research findings translated for stakeholders, received by them, and used?
  • What are the characteristics and behaviours that enable researchers to best achieve impact from their work?
  • How can STI policy researchers achieve impact with their own research?

See further suggested examples on the conference website here.

Submission Details for Tracks and Special Sessions

  • Proposals for tracks may include different types of sessions such as full or early-stage research paper sessions, debates, policy dialogue sessions and/or a mixture of these. Proposals for stand-alone special sessions are also welcome.

  • Proposals can be brief (approximately 500 words including a title, organisers’ details, and session/ track description).

  • Tracks/sessions can be proposed by (at least) two organisers.

  • Those selected for the conference will be asked to provide guidance for participants applying through the conference ‘Call for Papers’, and then support the conference organizers and the international scientific committee in reviewing the papers and organizing their track or special session.

Please submit your proposal by emailing it to: no later than 24th October 2022. Organisers will be notified of the acceptance of their proposals prior to the opening of the Call for Papers.

For further details, please visit the conference website.

Looking Back: EIBA & Eu-SPRI Summer School

Research Methods, Theories and Policies for Navigating the Complexities of the Digital Age

Early Career Summer School

25 – 29 July 2022

Como, Italy

Lake Como School of Advanced Studies

Organised by Politecnico di Milano

In late July, a lively group of 37 early career researchers travelled to Lake Como in the North of Italy, just across the Swiss border, to spend five eventful days in a picturesque Villa learning about the latest approaches in international business research. The Summer School was a joint initiative with the European International Business Academy (EIBA) and provided participants with tools to understand and tackle various dimensions of complexity in the current digital age, covering topics as diverse as knowledge creation across borders, global value chain formation, as well as the ‘twin transition’ of sustainability and digitalisation. One of the main focuses was on cutting-edge research methods and the challenges and opportunities they provide. The speakers made convincing pleas for methodological diversity and provided insights both on the theoretical foundations and practical implications of applying these diverse methods.

The 14-strong faculty offered an array of scientific tools: Among others, Bo Nielsen shared his enthusiasm for multi-level modelling, Carlo Piccardi gave an introduction on network analysis, Catherine Welch joined online to explore qualitative methods, Lucia Piscitello explained text & sentiment analysis and Carlotta Orsenigo provided insights into the intricacies of machine learning. Other speakers included John Cantwell, Agnieszka Chidlow, Marianna Marra, Torben Pedersen, Stefano Elia, Diletta Pegoraro and Silvia Massini. In the afternoons, the participants moved to the garden to discuss the relevance of the covered topics to their own research projects. Particularly invaluable for early career researchers, the senior academics shared their own perspective as journal editors, providing a look behind the scenes and giving concrete guidelines on how to get published in renowned scientific journals.

Whereas the Italian summer heat was challenging at times, the beautiful backdrop of the Como lake, surrounded by the Alps’ foothills and its shore littered with gorgeous villas, made every break feel like a little holiday. Naturally, the coffee was perfect and the food delicious, supplanted in the evenings by dinners at the plenty authentic restaurants in the town of Como. Discussions on both academic and research-unrelated topics continued with a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz until the later hours, when some participants even demonstrated their musical abilities in a hostel lounge and at a karaoke night. What was most impressive was how, through the combination of a well thought out educational programme and informal socialising, these five days forged a group of young academics from universities across Europe and countries all over the world into what felt like a close-knit community. Above all, the Summer School showed the immense value of in person meetings like these after years of pandemic, allowing for intense learning, the exchange of various perspectives and networking for future collaborations.

Special thanks to Lucia Piscitello, Stefano Elia, Diletta Pegoraro, Tommaso Vallone and Cristina Di Stefano for organising this unforgettable experience.

Looking back: ECC in Dortmund

Social Innovation Policy: Concepts, Methods and Policy Practices

Early Career Conference

21 – 23 September 2022

Dortmund, Germany

Social Research Centre

Between 21 and 23 September, 16 international early career researchers (PhD candidates and Postdocs) and 8 senior social innovation scholars gathered at the Social Research Centre of TU Dortmund University to discuss the importance of social innovation policy. The Eu-SPRI Early Career Conference (ECC) was organized by the Social Research Centre, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI). Participants from Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway found their way to Dortmund to discuss a plurality of current issues, questioning, for instance the need for social innovation ecosystems and regional or local innovation policy, as well as their current state of affairs in Europe and beyond.

Although social innovations need not necessarily be ‘good’, expectations on their role to combat 21st century challenges are quite high, creating a demand for targeted policy making. However, as argued by several participants, effective policy-making for social innovations requires theoretical clarity of the concept and a better understanding of the dynamics of diffusion of social innovations. Impact (measurement) is a major challenge in this regard, as the impact of social innovations is difficult to capture, but crucial for policy making.

Social innovation can be seen as a boundary concept that brings together different fields of research, as underlined by the different disciplinary backgrounds of the participants, ranging from transition studies to management and feminist philosophy. One particular research challenge identified in the ECC is the relationship between social innovations and technological, digital and sustainable innovations and how these interconnections need to be addressed. Also the role of universities as one actor with potential to further social innovations was touched upon. However, social innovation is not merely an academic endeavour, it is above all a social phenomenon that not only needs to be studied, but that also needs space for practical application. The organisers were therefore happy to welcome Mike Asquith of the European Environment Agency to shed his light on the role of social innovation in sustainability transitions. To learn more about the importance of social innovation within the city of Dortmund, participants were invited by the Social Innovation Center Dortmund for an informal evening get-together. Participants got some insights into how social innovation is lived in the city of Dortmund and learned how social innovation played a role in Dortmund’s winning bid for the iCapital Award in 2021 with the slogan ‘Innovation Next Door.’

We look back at a successful and interesting Early Career Conference with lots of learning opportunities and network building with young scholars eager to further our knowledge on social innovations. We thank all presenters, seniors and juniors alike, for their engagement with the conference and look forward to continuing the discussions started in Dortmund.