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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

11 Dec 2017

SSH academic organisations propose transdisciplinary missions for FP9

ALLEA (All European Academies) and academic organisations representing the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Europe have published the joint statement “Living Together: Missions for Shaping the Future”. The signatories call for more inter- and transdisciplinarity and a conscientious framing of ‘missions’ in the future EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme 9 (FP9). putting forward suggestions that take account of social, cultural, legal and ethical challenges ahead.

The statement was presented in response to a call by the High-Level Group (Lamy Group) on maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation Programmes, to “adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges”.

The signatories critically reflect on the type and scope of missions needed to adequately respond to societal challenges Europe faces in the years and decades to come. According to the statement, “these challenges require concerted efforts within and outside Europe, cutting across borders, cultures, languages, disciplines, sectors and institutions. However, we believe that the concept of ‘missions’ deserves to be discussed and developed further.” The statement affirms that mission-oriented research should thus:

(1) be “transformative in that it generates new knowledge and understanding”,
(2) acknowledge that “innovation is more than technology”,
(3) not be too constrained on specific end-products and “a premature identification of indicators of success or failure”,
(4) be open to researchers to come up with projects of all sizes to produce innovative ideas (bottom-up approach),
(5) “integrate all countries and regions in order to counter the research and innovation divide in the European Research Area” and maintain openness towards collaboration with non-EU countries.

The statement proposes four exemplary ‘missions’ targeting social and cultural transformation:

  1. Living together: Building sustainable, open and democratic societies for the future
  2. Catching up with innovation: Preparing for social consequences and embracing opportunities
  3. Growing up and ageing in Europe: A good life and a dignified death
  4. Truth, trust and expertise: Establishing trust for sustainable and legitimate governance.

Statement: Living Together: Missions for shaping the future: An agenda for the next European Research and Innovation Framework Programme from the Humanities and Social Sciences 



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