About P2D

The “Policy Dialogues Demonstrator (P2D)” is an exploratory initiative funded by the Eu-SPRI Forum. Eu-SPRI Forum uses the format of exploratory initiatives to anticipate new SPRI themes, concepts and methods by co-funding working groups who explore new horizons of the field. With its current strategy document, the Eu-SPRI Forum has supplemented to its mission a fourth element of engaging more “with scientific and policy fields addressing STI policy matters” (Eu-SPRI 2021). To strengthen this novel mission element, a Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) of policy-makers was set up. One of the SAB’s missions is to “provide advice on ways to strengthen and improve the linkages between ‘science policy’ researchers and practitioners“ (SAB reflection paper 2024, p.4).

P2D is the first Eu-SPRI Forum initiative to support this mission. It was launched in 2023 by researchers from EU-SPRI partner organisations: Fraunhofer ISI (Stephanie Daimer and Liu Shi, coordinator), AIT (Matthias Weber, Lasse Bundgaard), Ingenio (Alejandra Boni and Diana Velasco) and LISIS (Mireille Matt, Renée van Dis).

P2D has four objectives:

  1. Further understand and consolidate the needs of policy makers in particular relating to new types of STI policies (so called “third-generation” policies oriented towards systemic and transformative changes to address grand societal challenges).
  2. Develop a concept and framework for Eu-SPRI Policy Dialogues, possibly distinguishing a small number of sub-types.
  3. Design, implement and monitor two or three pilot policy dialogues, which all should be of relevance to current or emerging debates in STI policy research and policy practice.
  4. Propose an operational plan for setting up and institutionalizing P2D, based on experiences made with the demonstrators.

Approaches to interaction with policy practitioners

P2D has reviewed past and current practices of and experiences with interactions between researchers and policy practitioners, and collected views on how to best define the needs of policy makers, which a network like Eu-SPRI can address. It could build on rich experiences in the community. As a quick interactive survey at Eu-SPRI Forum’s conference in 2023 showed, about 4 out of 5 Eu-SPRI researchers have been involved in new types of linkages between policymakers and researchers.

A bar chart











Source: Survey by P2D group, Eu-SPRI conference 2023.

We also found that while new types of interaction formats and methods are currently being developed and tested by various initiatives, two specific types of science-policy interfaces emerged, where Eu-SPRI can be expected to generate added value. Instead of addressing specific policy problems, both formats are of a more transversal nature, which aim to inject a structuring effect on science-policy linkages of the EuSPRI community:

  • A more science-policy interface, set up an informal network of organisations from research and policymaking as a basis for activities in “variable geometries” in cross-national, multi-level settings.
  • A training format for early career professionals in academia and policy-making in order to open up science-policy interactions to the next generation, and to build mutual understanding and new networks.

Hence, currently, two demonstrators are being developed.

Demonstrator 1: Towards a Transformative Innovation and Research Policy European Hub (TRIP-EU HUB).

This hub is meant to emerge as a network of European STI ministries, agencies, funders, and research organisations dedicated to transformative R&I policy for sustainable and equitable development. Its central premise is about enhancing partnerships between researchers and innovation institutions to co-produce – through different kinds of engagements – transformative R&I policy initiatives. This European Hub builds upon knowledge and resources of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) and embraces a wide understanding of transformative policy approaches including mission-oriented policies. Research organisations of the Eu-SPRI network are invited to partner with public sector organisations or innovation funders to form the core of the network, which is open to further growth in the future.

Next steps and key dates:

  • May-August 2024: Spreading the word and forming the network.
  • June 7th 2024: Special session at Eu-SPRI Forum annual conference in Twente.
  • September 20th 2024: a dedicated session during the TIPC engagement week in Barcelona to launch the Hub.

Ways to join this initiative:

  • As a public sector organisation (ministry, agency, public administration): Join the initiative and seek to identify a potential tandem partner from among the research organisations in your country belonging to the Eu-Spri Forum.
  • As a member organisation of the Eu-SPRI Forum: Join the initiative and seek to identify a potential tandem partner from among public sector organisations in your country.

Contact: Alejandra Boni, Ingenio CSIC-UPV, Technical University of Valencia, aboni@dpi.upv.es

Demonstrator 2: Science-Policy Dialogue: an Early Career Training.

This is a joint training for early-career researchers with early-career professionals in the policy arena (e.g. ministries, funding agencies). It provides a learning exercise in science-policy dialogues towards 1) understanding mutual perspectives, professional values, needs and constraints; 2) understanding the process of co-production in terms of problems and solutions to improve policymaking; and 3) generating reflexivity for increased societal impacts. It consists of a mixture of interactive sessions, practical testimonies, and group work to co-develop a policy pitch.

Next steps and key dates:

  • June-July 2024: Call for participation in the pilot training (demonstrator) for early career researchers from Eu-SPRI member organisations and for early career policy professionals.
  • 3, 10 and 17 December 2024: Pre-event (online).
  • 21-24 January 2025: Training week in Paris.

Ways to join this initiative:

  • As a senior researcher in the Eu-SPRI community with experience from working in science-policy linkages: Become a mentor of early career practitioners or share your knowledge in the training.
  • As an early-career researcher or early-career policy practitioner: Become a participant of the training course and make science-policy interactions an integral part of your work.
  • As a senior policy practitioner: Become a mentor of early career practitioners or share your knowledge in the training. Make your policy problem a showcase of the training and accompany the teams working on the ‘policy pitch’ of your topic.

Contact: Mireille Matt, INRAE, Université Gustave Eiffel, mireille.matt@inrae.fr


Contact for P2D:

Stephanie Daimer, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, stephanie.daimer@isi.fraunhofer.de