Highlights and reflections form the closing conference of #CHERRIESÖrebro

Four people on a panel discussion during the final event in Orebro, Sweden

Last September 7th, 2022, CHERRIES Örebro organised the closing event of the regional pilot that saw different regional stakeholders working together in the definition of innovative solutions to involuntarily lonliness among elderly people in Laxå. During the day lectures and panel discussions were mixed offering the audience the opportunity to exchange with experts, regional stakeholders and contribute to reflect on the sustainability of CHERRIES approach in Örebro County.

The challenges that the healthcare service is facing require us to work in new ways and together with actors we may not be used to working with. The CHERRIES model could be a tool in ourtoolbox as we need to create a movement within human-centered and integrated care . The project has been both interesting and challenging”, says Lena Uvhagen, Regional project manager for CHERRIES in Örebro County.

When it comes to new ways of working, there are of course challenges. Who owns the issue? How to choose the needs? Which direction should be taken? What happens when the project ends? Who takes over and drives the project forward? During the panel discussions, we got to take part in interesting discussions around these issues. Among other things, the benefits of working together and broadening the perspective for social innovation and how we can create together the conditions for innovation were discussed.

New knowledge was mixed with lessons learned from other countries regarding cooperation and project management. A clear insight was that it can be complicated and complex to work with innovation projects.

During the day, we also got to listen to the experiences from the regional CHERRIES pilot project in Laxå.

“The project aimed to break and prevent the involuntarily loneliness among elderly. It turned out to be a difficult target group to reach – as it required a relevant effort to reach the elderly. Among the lessons learned, it emerged that it makes a big difference to see each other physically. The pandemic also caused some problems. There were also challenges in finding the balance – and getting everyone on board to drive the project forward. Since it is about cooperation between many different organizations, everyone must be able to participate on their own terms, based on their conditions and driving forces, summarizes Julia Olsson from Sydnärke’s public health team, project coordinator in Laxå.

The CHERRIES model is inclusive and exploratory. The afternoon was devoted to creative work in groups, where the participants got to test the CHERRIES approach.

Stefan Philipp, project coordinator and researcher at the Center for Social Innovation in Vienna, discussed the CHERRIES model and pointed out both strengths and weaknesses, purpose and goals. To a large extent, the project has been about bringing people together in order to create relevant solutions in new participatory ways. The participants experienced this in a workshop  when they had the opportunity to discuss and work together following the CHERIES model and its three steps: Call for Needs, Call for Solutions and Co Creation. The workshop was facilitated by Anestis Amanatidis, Researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

In the workshop, the participants got to experience both the pros and cons of the working method. It has created important insights for future projects, I think. We have learned a lot and it was really fun to have a joint conference where we shared knowledge, learned from each other and got to broaden the perspective, says Märtha Lundkvist, Strategist and Unit Manager for Close care at Region Örebro County.

Lena Uvhagen, Regional project manager for CHERRIES in Örebro County presents regional results       Julia Olsson from Sydnärke's public health team, project coordinator of the pilot in Laxå, presents on stage

People sitting at different tables to participate in the CHERRIES workshop facilitated by Anestis Amanatidis, Researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.       Three women attending CHERRIES workshop

CHERRIES is an official partner of the 2022 European Week Regions and Cities | Join our online workshop!

Draw of a green neighbourhood and title of CHERRIES session at European Week of the Regions and CIties

Summertime brought us a wonderful news! CHERRIES has been selected as official partner of the 2022 European Week of Regions and Cities!

Our consortium partners EBN, ZSI, Activa Foundation and Murcia Region will be on stage to share insights and reflections resulting from almost 3 years of project activities dedicated to explore responsible and demand-driven innovation approaches in the regional healthcare sector.

The session “Shaping the Next Generation of Regional Innovation Policies: Open, Responsible and Inclusive” presents evidence-based policy recommendations emerging from the work carried out by the CHERRIES Horizon 2020 project in three European regions to test Responsible and Open Innovation processes to develop solutions for territorial challenges in the healthcare sector. We’ll debate how Open and Responsible R&I approaches can shape sustainable and inclusive regional smart specialisation strategies to better meet territorial needs and exploit available resources by mobilising a wide range of societal actors.


  • Stefan Philipp, Researcher and Project Manager and CHERRIES project Coordinator. ZSI – Centre for Social Innovation
  • Cristina Fanjul, President European Business and Innovation Centre Network
  • Charlotta Karlsson – Andersson, CEO Activa Foundation
  • Adrián Zittelli Ferrari, Director-General for the European Union Affairs for the Region of Murcia and Representative of the CoR
    Region of Murcia

Don’t miss this opportunity to join the conversation and discuss the next generation of regional innovation policies!

We’ll be live on October 12th from 9:30 till 1:00 CET



“Connecting Responsible Innovation Ecosystem” is the title of a 2-day event dedicated to the CHERRIES community that was finally meeting in person to discuss main outcomes of two years and half of project activities and exchange on the way forward.

On May 24 and 25, CHERRIES Community gathered in Brussels to discuss connecting responsible innovation ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on the healthcare sector.

The first day of CHERRIES conference was designed for consortium partners, regional stakeholders from the CHERRIES Pilot Regions (Örebro, Sweden; Murcia, Spain; Republic of Cyprus), and the CHERRIES Mirror Regions (Centro, Portugal; West of Ireland, Ireland; Nord East, Romania; Burgos, Spain) to debate the opportunities and challenges of designing and enabling Open and Responsible Innovation programmes, based on demand-driven innovation processes and co-creation approaches.

What is the benefit and need for changing the R&I culture in and between organisations? What is required and how do you initiate and manage these processes in the given regional systems?

Divided into two parallel tracks (one for the practitioners and one for the policy makers), participants discussed in an engaging format how CHERRIES methodology and outcomes can contribute to a culture change in regional R&I strategies.

To summarise the outcomes of the exchange between Pilot and Mirror Regions practitioners on CHERRIES methodology…

  • It is not a recepy, it is a process
  •  It is an experiment & you need room for experimentation
  • It is combining societal needs with regional R&I priorities
  • It is unleashing innovation for unmet needs

On May 25th, the event was opened to a wider audience. Organised back-to-back to the EBN Annual Congress 2022 | Transition Towards 2030, CHERRIES conference provided participants with insights from project partners and their stakeholders on how the CHERRIES model contributed to shape regional “shared arenas for deliberation” as a means for needs identification and the way they are planning to transit “from regional pilots to sustainable actions”.

After an introduction about the project methodology by Stefan Philipp (ZSI), CHERRIES Pilot Regions shared key highlights from the regional implementation of the CHERRIES model. The 3 selected solution providers (SYSTSERV, Evidenze Digital Health – Pulso, and Southern Örebro County), shared their experience implementing co-creation processes aimed at designing and implementing innovative solutions to the regional challenges.  The panel also focussed on how the pandemic changed their engagement and involvement with diverse stakeholder groups, given the evolving restrictions.

Through engaging parallel workshops, participants explored the “next generation of CHERRIES-model”, by integrating transition management thinking into Open Innovation 2.0 approaches. These workshops provided the opportunity for people coming from mirror regions and other projects implementing RRI and co-creation, such as TetRRIS, MOSAIC, WBC-RRI.NET,  to share their experiences and best practices, and relate these to the challenges and successes of the CHERRIES project. Special attention was paid to the discussion on how to move from the operational level to the strategic level when implementing the model, throughout the process of assessing how to best replicate and scale up the most positive results.

For the second half of the public conference, CHERRIES event merged with the European Business Innovation Centre Network Annual Congress.

Nir Koren, CEO and founder of buildinn opened the afternoon with an engaging presentation on the connection between innovation and sustainability, and advocated for the need to think about sustainability not as an independent concept in itself, but to think about sustainability and innovation together.

The following session, “Responsibility and Sustainability – two sides of the same coin” was moderated by Lotta Karlsson-Andersson CEO of Activa Foundation.

During this session, Mr Marinos Portokallides, Scientific Officer  at the Cypriot Research and Innovation Foundation, mentioned that “we should move from an industry-driven to more demand, responsible driven innovation”. In the panel, there was frequent mention of the need to engage citizens and a wider range of stakeholders, Cristiana Costa, Project Manager at Laboratory for Automation and Systems (LAS) of the Instituto Pedro Nunesby stressed the importance of making them aware of how R&I can improve citizens’ lives and society as a whole, and therefore calling everyone to contribute to territorial strategies and goals.

As stated by Ingeborg Meijer (CWTS Leiden) We have developed an ecosystem of SwafS14 projects focused on territory. We found that there is no one size fits all. We can join the best of different, diverse worlds and find something in common.”

During the final session “Testing RRI and demand driven approaches to shape regional (smart specialisation) innovation strategies” moderated by Esther Peñalver Ibarra, Director CEEI Murcia, Nicola De Michelis , Director at DG Regio, discussed the future relevance of smart specialisation strategies. He suggested that while the strategies aren’t perfect, they do continue to offer enough value to continue to be in use, and that now is the time to engage with regional authorities to revise these strategies to be effective and sustainable in the coming years. Moreover, in line with RRI principles, he talked about the need to involve different stakeholders with different skills in order to bring together that collective knowledge, which allows organizations to be more demand-drive, and ultimately have a wider intake by the public. Douglas Robinson, Deputy Director of LISIS-CNRS shared some reflections about the overal CHERRIES conference and observed how the EU Missions represent a shared agenda between ecosystems and shareholders, capturing shared value. He also discussed  how citizens, firms and other stakeholders could be incentivised to be involved in co-creation activities.

It was a dense programme, enriched by different territorial and sectorial perspectives and expertise.

The Conference, which originally was ment to take place towards the end of the project as a “traditional” final dissemination activity, turned out to be a fundamental milestone for the CHERRIES community. A community made of regional innovation ecosystems committed to embrace Open and Responsible Innovation approaches as a way to shape inclusive, sustainable and impactful territorial strategies.


EU Award for Gender Equality Champions | A new prize recognising academic and research organisations driving the change towards gender equality in research and innovation

2 women working together

This new award is the European Commission’s initiative to recognise and celebrate the outstanding results achieved in the implementation of gender equality by academic and research organisations.

The application process to this first edition of the EU Award for Gender Equality Champions is now open. Deadline for applications is 13 October 2022 at 17.00 (CET).

The EU Award for (Academic) Gender Equality Champions aims to

The prize also intends to raise public awareness of the importance of addressing gender equality in academic and research organisations through institutional change and incentivise a high degree of commitment to implementing inclusive gender equality plans.

The prize will create a community of champions which can inspire other academic and research organisations to become gender equality champions themselves.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) manages the prize and its winners are selected by an independent expert jury for each prize category.

There are 3 prize categories:

Sustainable Gender Equality Champions | Organisations that can demonstrate a significant and sustained record of activity and a high level of achievement through the implementation of their Gender Equality Plan. Apply now

Newcomer Gender Equality Champions | Organisations that have recently started implementing a Gender Equality Plan and can demonstrate the most progress in its implementation and achieved results. Apply now

Inclusive Gender Equality Champions | Organisations that have developed the most innovative inclusive Gender Equality Plan addressing intersections with other social categories such as ethnicity, social origin, sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTI+) or disability. Apply now

Applicants (universities, higher education institutions, and research performing organisations -public or private – established in an EU country or a Horizon Europe Associated Country) can only apply to 1 of these 3 categories.

Each prize winner will receive €100,000.

There will be 2 winners in the prize category Sustainable Gender Equality Champions, 1 winner in the prize category Newcomer Gender Equality Champions, and 1 winner in the prize category Inclusive Gender Equality Champions.

Check out all the information about the call, the eligibility and award criteria here 

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/funding/funding-opportunities/prizes/eu-award-gender-equality-champions_en 

EU-Africa pharma and healthcare marketplace & matchmaking events

In May, the European Commission launched the EU-Africa pharma and healthcare marketplace and matchmaking events.

This series of events will end in June with a last webinar on the future of EU-Africa Healthcare and with the opportunities for participant companies, investors and researchers to establish own contacts through bilateral meetings.

On June 27 the webinar Future for EU-Africa Healthcare will host EC and AU Commissioners and high-level representatives of private sector. The webinar will be followed by matchmaking meetings on June 27 and 28.

Find more details on the website: EU-Africa pharma and healthcare marketplace & matchmaking events – Info (b2match.io), as well as the link for free registration to the next Webinar on 27 June.

Please note that on the website, the registration for the marketplace, that allows companies to be visible and schedule meetings, was closed since June 06, the companies/researchers interested should contact directly and rapidly eu-africa.pharma@videlio-events.com for free registration.

If interested, you can watch the recordings of the first webinar “Understanding the markets” held in May, here.


Citizen engagement: how can we move from ad hoc consultations to long-lasting partnerships for R&I?

Outkine of the programme of the event: Every voice counts. Held online on March 18th.

In the framework of the “Conference on the Future of Europe”, on the 18th of March 2022, CHERRIES project organised an online event aimed at shaping recommendations on how to best involve citizens in the R&I processes: “Every voice counts. The role of citizens in shaping European R&I.”

The aim of the event “Every voice counts. The role of citizens in shaping European R&I.” was to highlight the importance of citizen engagement in RRI and to discuss different ways to foster their participation and involvement in this kind of processes.

Responsible Research Innovation (RRI) is an inclusive approach to research and innovation to ensure that societal actors work together during the whole research and innovation process. It aims to better align both the process and outcomes of research and innovation, with the values, needs and expectations of European society. In this sense, citizens engagement is essential for the consideration of the real societal needs and to be able to take into account different perspectives when shaping the policies and strategies of the future.

European funded projects such as CHERRIES are developing different methodologies and strategies to implement RRI and to ensure that all the actors of the society are involved in research and innovation processes.

The main purpose of the event was to show how citizen participation can be best channelled.

The event saw the keynote speech of Rosina Malagrida​, Head of the Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa and co-coordinator of the Barcelona “la Caixa” Living Lab on why citizens’ participation is key in R&I processes and how we can encourage and enable it.  She also explained in detail how civil society can be included in public research and innovation policies.  We would highlight two key messages she shared with us:

“If we want to make sure that we will get the impact that we want, we need to work with a broader variety of stakeholders and of projects. One project alone cannot solve a problem, we should move to collective processes where we can work first to collectively understand better the problem and then exploring how to cover all the challenges together through different projects and processes”.

“When starting a process, we need to make sure that group of stakeholders working on it, shares a common vision, a common understanding of the problem and a common strategy. In the strategy there should be a reflection of the following 3 different levels: individual, organisational and collective level. These 3 levels should be connected”.

Two panel discussions followed.

In the first panel the audience heard from Adrián Zittelli Ferrari (Director-General for European Union Affairs for the Region of Murcia) on the need for clearer engagement frameworks and objectives for citizens, and for a better traceability of citizens engagement processes, this to increase citizens’trust in these processes. Moreover, to foster the participation of citizens, they need to see how their opinions are translated into concrete actions and -at the same time – they need to see how the decisions taken at European level can have an impact in their regions.

Stefan Philipp (Researcher at ZSI and CHERRIES coordinator) presented how CHERRIES capitalised citizens’ inputs to define challenges in the health services prioritising the medical innovations to provide a wider impact accordingly with civil society perspectives.

Esteban Pelayo (Director of EURADA) shared insights from the TetRRIS project on the possibilities of incorporating citizens in regional innovation strategies were analysed; in particular, it was explained how the second generation of smart specialisation strategies are proactively involving civil society. Regions are facing not only the exercise of prioritising when it comes to policy making at regional level, they also need to develop tools to monitor the different policies and processes so they are able to involve all stakeholders through the different steps.

In the second panel, the experiences of the regions of Murcia, Orebro and Cyprus were presented from the perspective of civil society organisations engaged in the territorial pilots. CHERRIES pilots aimed at at setting up an inclusive system in which citizens were called to determine their priorities in the healthcare sector and a call for collaboration was launched between companies offering solutions to the proposed challenges and the territorial health services implementing them.

Lotta Karlsson-Andersson (CEO at Activa Foundation) explained how CHERRIES project allowed Orebro region and its partners to take a brave step establishing a platform allowing multi stakeholder interactions and enabling direct exchanges and open dialogue between local and regional authorities and the wider society.

“Regional and local authorities need to collaborate together and make sure that they involve citizens, target groups and organisations from the very beginning. They must be taken into account when defining a need/problem, but also through the whole process. Therefore it is key to have a space/arena for exchange, co-creation and mutual learning”.

Joaquín Francisco Roca González (Sub Director of International Relationships at Polytechnical University of Cartagena) is one of the regional actors involved in the Murcia co-creation team including the solution provider and the other regional partners (Ticbiomed, CEEIMurcia, Sistema Murciano de Salud). He also contributed to the definition of the regional challenge. He stressed the importance of developing solutions to health challenges by taking into consideration and involving the final users of these solutions and the specialists that will deploy them. The development of the devices/precesses/solutions need to take into account all the stakeholders.

“As a driver for a more democratic approach to R&I we need to share responsibility and involve in the different challenges and opportunities different players: researchers, citizens, patients and healthcare professionals working together for a common goal.

Collaborative processes and co-creation, need to be shown as a resource for citizens to solve their problems, but they also need to be perceived as such by the industry and companies. Citizens must be aware that they are part of the solutions as they are the ones that better know the needs.”

He also stressed the importance of disseminating and advertising this inclusive processes and approaches to R&I, especially towards patients and professional as they need to know that these processes exits and that they can take part on them.

Stelios Yiallouros (Chief Information Officer at Arataeio Hospital) shared his experience from the Cyprus pilot. Based on his direct experience, he recommends that patients, professionals and hospital managers have an active role in the co-creation processes as they are the final users of a technology. They should be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the development of a solution, so to ensure this meets their actual needs.

“The system fails when all the stakeholders are not involved. Hospitals, patients and professionals are essential and must be involved in the different processes. By listening to all the related stakeholders, through the entire process, you avoid failure. In order to encourage the participation of citizens and patients, we need to make sure that they are being listened and that they feel it”.

Moreover, a very interestig comment was raised by Claudia Colonnello Senior Social Researcher at Knowledge and Innovation:

“Before engaging the different actors in a R&I process, we should build a common long-term vision at territorial level on how we want to shape these processes. The involvement of local actors is crucial in order to create a dialogue with the aim to restore trust among the society and to involve them in R&I processes”.

If you missed the event, you can watch it online!


Pilot Action on Partnerships for Regional Innovation: Your region can apply now

launch of the innovation partnerships call

The European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) have launched the call of interest for a new pilot action on Partnerships for Regional Innovation. The Pilot Action will involve up to 24 European participants (Member States, regions or groups of regions) who feel driven to transform their economies and societies and who are willing to further develop their own strategic policy framework dealing with innovation, industrial development, sustainability transitions and broader economic and social development. The deadline for applications is 25 April 2022.

The Partnerships for Regional Innovation are a complementary approach, which builds on positive experiences with smart specialisation strategies. The initiative aims to enhance the coordination and directionality of regional, national and EU R&I policies to implement Europe’s green and digital transitions and to tackle the innovation divide in the EU.

The Partnerships will be firmly anchored in the EU policy framework, supporting the implementation of the European Green DealHorizon EuropeCohesion policy and NextGenerationEU. Particular attention will be placed on tools and governance mechanisms that mobilise multiple sources of funding and policies to amplify impact and that can help connect regional and national initiatives to EU initiatives for the twin transition.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: “The experience, contacts, cooperation, shared interests and expertise that this initiative seeks to make available to local and regional authorities across the EU will help them successfully address the societal challenges we all currently face. In the longer term, this exercise will help to attract the necessary investment and mobilise in a coherent way all relevant policies and funding instruments.”

Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, said: “ Promoting and spreading innovation is key to succeed in the green and digital transitions. All regions have an innovation potential that has to be fully taped in order to leave no one behind. We need strong innovation partnerships anchored on smart specialisation strategies adapted to the strengths and challenges of each territory and integrating different funds and policies. Regions need to be central actors in shaping Europe’s innovative growth model. 

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “ Strong connections among the innovation actors are the foundations of thriving regional innovation ecosystems. The “Partnerships for Regional Innovation” will provide a platform for public and private players to invest in innovation and startups for a sustainable economy and society. The Partnerships will integrate all the available EU instruments to deliver tangible impacts. We need innovators and investors in every region and country. The Partnerships for Regional Innovation will connect them all to build a true pan-European Innovation Ecosystem.”

Participants in the Pilot Action will be expected to identify, in close collaboration with the JRC and the CoR, the areas they wish to focus the Pilot Action on. These can be socio-economic or policy challenges, specific economic sectors and/or policy areas or instruments. Activities under the Pilot Action will be tailored to the areas of most interest for each participant.

The deadline for applications is 25 April 2022. You will find more information and instructions on how to apply in President Tzitzikostas’ letter and its annex. The chosen territories will be announced in May and an official launch event is scheduled for 17 May.

Source: https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/Pilot-Action-on-Partnerships-for-Regional-Innovation.aspx 

Finding modern solutions to modern health care issues using RRI | Stefan Philipps shares CHERRIES insights at ResBios Podcast

In this episode of RRIExplained – Podcast series by ResBios project,  Stefan Philipp, the coordinator of the CHERRIES, speaks about the issues facing modern healthcare and how RRI can be used to bring together citizens and healthcare providers to produce working solutions to these modern problems.

Listen to the podcast here: https://bit.ly/3NBybLE

You can also watch the full interview on Youtube.

eHealth Awards 2022 – applications are open!

eHealth Awards 2022

Organised in the framework of the eHealth Summer University, the eHealth Awards support and reward the development of solutions and applications in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Health. The objective of these Awards is to encourage innovation, and favor the integration of ICT in the world of healthcare, as well as the autonomy of patients, among the largest number of professionals and businesses. They promote a growing sector: eHealth.

Organized by the EU|BIC Castres-Mazamet Technopole, the eHealth Awards will be presented during the eHealth University, which will take place in Castres on June 28-29, 2022, in the Chamber of commerce and industry.

This competition eHealth Awards is open to all actors having a project in e-health: healthcare institutions and professionals, patients and caregiver associations, social protection workers, businesses in the technology and healthcare sector, and researchers, teachers and students … at national and international level.

The 2022 eHealth Awards are divided into 7 categories:

Autonomy & Well-being
Structures – Health and medico – social establishments
Healthcare professionals & caregivers
Big Data IA

and 4 special prizes:

The Grand Jury Prize
The Business Model Trophy
The jury’s favorite trophy
The Internet Trophy

The same project can be presented in a maximum of 3 categories

Participation in the e-Health Awards competition is completely free of charge.
All candidates for the e-health Awards benefit from a 50% discount on the e-health University registration pass.
Any individual or entity in France or another country (corporation, association, public authority, administrative authority, NGO, research organization, teaching institution, students, etc.) may participate in this competition.

To apply for the e-Health Awards simply download, complete and return the application form. The completed application form should be sent by email at trophees@universite-esante.com, before May 2, 2022 noon.