The new CHERRIES Model is out!

We are glad to announce that our latest publication presenting and discussing the original CHERRIES model and the experience from its adoption in the three Pilot Regions. Based on this diagnostic, partners introduce considerations from Sustainability Transition Studies in the context of healthcare and present the “new CHERRIES Model”.

In Sustainability Transitions, transitions are non-linear, long-term and fundamental change processes towards sustainability that alter the way society is organised, operates and values services and amenities. Transition Studies provide three core elements that are useful for a future CHERRIES model: strategic transition management, transition arenas, and niche management.

The original CHERRIES model is amended by a Healthcare Innovation Hub, in charge of creating stable relations between actors that are based on trust and shared objectives as a basis for developing shared visions and understandings of the general development trajectories of healthcare services in a given context.

Then, based on the learning of the experimentation that focussed on 1. Need Identification, 2. Solution Selection and 3. Co-creation of the Solution, a fourth step is introduced in the new CHERRIES model: the Limited Demonstrator of Solution. The idea behind the fourth step is to create a bridge between the development of the prototype in step three (co-creation of solution) and an implementation process via (public) procurement of the Solution.

Download the publication here The new CHERRIES Model – final

The publication also include the factsheets on the three regional pilots held in Cyprus, Murcia and Örebro. Discover how the CHERRIES methodology was applied in the three contexts, and the key learnings from each ecosystem.

Developing a telemedicine solution for monitoring chronical patients from distance in the Northeast region of Romania

By being a part of the CHERRIES family, we gain insightful know-how in order to replicate the model in our region, which is an added-value for both the innovators and the beneficiaries (the medical staff and the patients), or, in other words, a gain for the development of the regional medical system.

The journey into the CHERRIES Mirror Regions continues. Today we present you how the Northeast region of Romania is replicating and adapting CHERRIES methodology into their local ecosystem and strategic R&I sectors.

  • Partners: NE RDA, Imago-Mol Cluster and the ”St Spiridon” Emergency Clinical Hospital.
  • Priority Area: The CHEERIES methodology is being applied for developing a telemedicine solution for monitoring chronical patients from distance and to have better access to their medical history.

Why did you join the CHERRIES Community? What did you find interesting and relevant for you in the CHERRIES methodology?

Even though our region is not very well situated in the European Regional Innovation Score, the potential for innovation is increasing rapidly and we would like to foster this process by giving the best support we can to our innovators. As part of our continuous efforts in this area, we wanted to become a Mirror Region, in order to gain insightful know-how on the methods through which we could involve the quadruple helix in developing tailor-made solutions for our regional needs. By applying the CHERRIES methodology, we offer to our regional actors a new perspective on the co-creation process and we hope to  increase the engagement of interested parties (both providers and beneficiaries).

In order to test CHERRIES methodology, the NE RDA is working closely with the Imago-Mol Cluster and one of its founding members, the “St. Spiridon” Emergency Clinical Hospital.

A questionnaire was distributed to the medical staff of St. Spiridon Hospital, as a pilot hospital, and to patients’ associations in the region, therefore, 34 responses have been received. The information gathered from these responses will be used to identify the needs of hospital patients and professionals. For doing so, a selection committee will be made up of representatives from each member of the CHERRIES Northeast Mirror Region Consortium (NE RDA, Imago Mol Cluster, and St. Spiridon Hospital).

Through the survey, the needs that have been identified within the medical community in the Northeast region range from streamlining intrahospital bureaucratic processes, and implementing remote patient monitoring solutions, to implementing telemedicine solutions. The main beneficiaries of these initiatives will be both patients and medical staff, as the adoption of these solutions will help to shorten the time of reaction, increase the quality of healthcare services, and ease the access of patients to such services.

What are the main challenges your territory is currently facing and addressing with innovative R&I strategies?

It is important to highlight that there are still some challenges to face before adopting these solutions, including reluctance, bureaucracy, and lack of material resources.

An important challenge is to stimulate the proactivity of the civil society within the co-creation process, as it is a new concept, and we have to overcome the reluctance of some with solid arguments about the added-value co-creation and RRI bring to the innovation process.

Besides that, the main challenge is related to raising funding resources for the implementation of the pilot project.

As Romania is a centralized country, we do not have a regional budget in order to allocate some specific funds for the implementation of this type of projects and we have to find an external budget for the development of the solution for the identified need.

Specifically, one possible source of funding for this initiative is the PNRR (Recovery and Resilience Plan for Romania), which has a call code of MS-733. This funding is specifically intended for investments in IT systems and digital infrastructure of public health units and is available to a wide range of eligible beneficiaries, including public health units subordinated to UATs, partnerships between central and local public authorities and institutions, and other central public authorities and institutions.

In addition to the PNRR, there may be other sources of funding available to support the medical community in the Northeast region. The selection committee will need to review all potential funding options carefully and determine the best course of action to secure the necessary resources aligned with the solutions matching the identified needs. By working together and leveraging available funding opportunities, it is hoped that the medical community in the Northeast region will be able to address the needs identified through the CHERRIES methodology, which in turn will help to improve the health and well-being of the local community.

What are the next steps the region will undertake to meet the demographic challenge?

In the coming weeks, our intention is to define, develop and launch the call for solutions and, in the same time, to continue our search for funding opportunities for the pilot project, considering structural funds. Also, we intend to promote the CHERRIES methodology among Imago-Mol members in order to attract possible companies that would be interested to develop a solution for the identified need.

Providing high quality healthcare service delivery to a dispersed rural population in the West of Ireland

Let us take you to a journey into the CHERRIES Mirror Regions – 4 European territories that almost 1 year ago joined our community to receive coaching and mentoring support to replicate and adapt CHERRIES methodology into their local ecosystem and strategic R&I sectors. Today we present you CHERRIES Mirror Region West of Ireland.
  • Priority Area: Provision of remote healthcare to isolated/rural communities
  • Partners: WDC, HSE Digital Transformation, Mayo County Council, NUIG, Cisco

Why did you join the CHERRIES Community? What did you find interesting and relevant for you in the CHERRIES methodology?

Learning from other regions, supporting capacity building, and enhancing the tools we have in the region to address societal issues is part of the mission of WDC. We continuously seek to improve demand articulation, experimentation and to the co-creation process that we employ in the region. We are keen to avail of best practice in this area and increase the range of methodologies which we can employ to address challenges on a co-creation, co-participation basis in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, while engaging in responsible research and innovation. We intend to make most of regional strengths, assets, and resources to create maximum positive impact for this region, which is lagging behind the national average in most socio-economic criteria, is vulnerable to out-migration, and requires support to boost its recovery, resilience and growth potential.

What are the main challenges your territory is currently facing and addressing with innovative R&I strategies?

There are many challenges in the region. In terms of the project that we are focusing on, arose from a request from the people of the Clare Island to the WDC to help them make island living more sustainable. The project is a collaboration between the WDC, HSE Digital Transformation, Mayo County Council, NUIG, Cisco and others. It aims to provide an integrated digital health solution to the people of Clare Island and to proactively monitor and intervene for the health of the islanders.

The project stakeholders have proceeded to engage with the islanders, so that they can priorities their healthcare needs. In other developments, the project has engaged with mobile service providers to improve island connectivity. Connectivity, small sample size (relative to producing a statistically significant output), engagement with local stakeholders and community are all project-related specific challenges. For the people of Clare Island, a ‘Living Lab’ real world test approach would help reduce the number of journeys they would have to embark on to the mainland. It would provide them with an alternative to having to travel to see a doctor by using a digital closed loop system which will see islanders having medical consultations from the home or ‘Health Pod’. GPs will be able to electronically prescribe medications that can be delivered to the island via drone. Patients will be proactively monitored, and early interventions will help improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care.

What are the next steps the region will undertake to meet the demographic challenge?


  • Clinical needs assessment complete, identified conditions on Island project can address.
  • Assessment of tech and infrastructure complete.


  • Engaged with public patient involvement and with different hospital service division around care delivery
  • Selected appropriate patients, now establishing tech requirements.


  • Development of connectivity architecture for extending virtual consulting via hub to home.
  • Creation of training materials, further engagement with community, real world testing.
  • Health promotion, selection of patients, establishing tech requirements for systems.

All steps are done in co-creation.

Watch the interview with Helena Deane

RRI steering the Provincial R&I strategy 2021-2025 in Burgos

Map of the EU where Spain is highlighted and a red dot signals the province of Burgos.

Let us take you to a journey into the CHERRIES Mirror Regions – 4 European territories that almost 1 year ago joined our community to receive coaching and mentoring support to replicate and adapt CHERRIES methodology into their local ecosystem and strategic R&I sectors. Let’s start from CHERRIES MIRROR REGION BURGOS – Spain.

About Burgos Mirror Region – short overview

  • Priority Area addressed by the region in the framework of CHERRIES: Housing Rehabilitation in Rural Areas
  • Partners: CEEI Burgos, Provincial Government of Burgos (SODEBUR) and City Council of Burgos
  • Why CHERRIES? “SODEBUR usually implements its mission in close  cooperation with other entities and stakeholders involving them both in the identification of needs of the province and in the development of possible solutions. CHERRIES will help drive, “methodologize” and formalize these processes. The CHERRIES approach is revealed as especially interesting at present since SODEBUR is finalizing a new Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2025 in which RRI-driven dynamics can play a role in addressing numerous issues that are mentioned in the new provincial strategy for the considered period”.

Why did you join the CHERRIES Community? What did you find interesting and relevant for you in the CHERRIES methodology?

SODEBUR is more and more enabling participatory processes at territorial level to identify challenges and solve them. The CHERRIES approach is a good framework to develop and foster consensual processes to diagnose and identify problems, bottlenecks, opportunities and agents that contribute building strategic planning for the development of the province. Moreover, CHERRIES’ approach is also going to be tested in the dynamics of implementation of the policies, programs and actions derived from the Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2025.

What are the main challenges your territory is currently facing and addressing with innovative R&I strategies?

In a territory as extensive as Castilla y León, with nine provinces, and a large part of the population living in rural and dispersed environments, the alignment of the respective strategies of the different public agents is essential and thus the strategic planning of the province is a priority.  The new smart specialization strategy of Castilla y León has – among its objectives- a strong focus on the demographic challenge, which has a special impact on the rural areas of the Community.

The issue of rural housing in a province like Burgos (and in the provinces of the interior of Spain or the so-called Empty Spain) is really important because although a priori there would be many houses in all localities, it has been detected that there is no housing available to move into and therefore the demographic challenge is affected. Accommodation is revealed as an important factor to “fight depopulation” and address the so-called demographic challenge in “Empty Spain”.

The issues that we consider would be related to housing in rural areas are:

  1. Fast and sustainable construction solutions for the rehabilitation of rural housing.
  2. Financial solutions for the rehabilitation of rural housing.

What are the next steps the region will undertake to meet the demographic challenge?

SODEBUR might plan to use their own funds of the assigned budget or the own budget of the Diputación Provincial to address the demographic challenge of the region. SODEBUR is also encouraging the inter-institutional collaboration of the regional government to improve financial solutions, actions or policies to solve the main challenges.

CHERRIES’ approach will help drive and “methodologize” or formalize these processes. While finalizing a new Strategic Plan for the period 2021-2025, SODEBUR believes that RRI-driven dynamics can be incorporated in addressing numerous issues that are addressed in the new provincial strategy.

Watch the interview with Javier Sardiñas from CEEI Burgos


CHERRIES Cyprus final workshop | demand-driven approaches shaping impactful solutions to today societal needs

Sitting audience attending a workshop in Cyprus

On October 12th, the CHERRIES project was presented in the Republic of Cyprus to a group of over 20 stakeholders including Policy Makers, Healthcare Professionals, Innovators in Healthcare, Patient associations and stakeholders from the Research and Innovation ecosystem. The workshop was an interactive one with constant engagement from presenters and participants and that allowed honest and fruitful conversations with outputs for the future.

During the event, the regional partners CyRIC EU|BIC and the Aretaeion Hospital presented the CHERRIES methodology, and its application in the Cypriot pilot. The presentations brought together the concepts of co-creation and RRI in a pragmatic way with examples delivered during the pilot’s lifetime.  Lessons learnt were presented revolving around Cyprus’ regional context and current healthcare sector status. Important discussions and the Q&A session allowed the team to see that the stakeholders in the room acknowledge the virtues of RRI which allows a holistic approach when applying a solution.

The attendees were also given the opportunity to participate first-hand and witness a live demonstration of medical tests directly from the third member of the regional team, the e-health solution of DoctorsHello. The solution was developed during the co-creation pilot named “Provision of medical services to the Cypriot citizens that live in rural and remote areas and do not have easy access to healthcare services and prescribed medicines”. During the live demonstration, all participants and stakeholders involved had the opportunity to discuss the potential sustainability and adoption of such solution to the recently established National Health System in Cyprus and its potential impact and benefits to the society.

The regional team was delighted to see that policy makers that attended the workshop and live demo expressed great interest on how ‘’demand – driven’’ approaches such as the CHERRIES methodology can aspire to bringing tangible solutions to meet real existing societal needs.


CHERRIES workshop at the EU Week of the Regions and Cities. How does the next generation of regional innovation policies look like?

On October 12th, 2022, CHERRIES (Constructing Healthcare Environments through Responsible Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategies)  project organised the workshop “Shaping the Next Generation of Regional Innovation Policies: Open, Responsible and Inclusive”  in the framework of the #EURegionsWeek 2022.

Chaired by Stefan Philipp, ZSI researcher and CHERRIES coordinator, the session offered an opportunity to share some reflections on the role CHERRIES methodology can play in the changing European Regional Innovation Ecosystems.

The introduction allowed the audience to understand the RRI driven project methodology, which focuses on demand-driven innovation processes and co-creation approaches to the definition of innovative solutions to societal needs, through the concrete examples of regional expriments carried out in Murcia (Spain), Örebro (Sweden) and the Republic of Cyrpus in the healthcare sector.

The session then was enriched by the insights from Cristina Fanjul Alonso, President of EBN (European Business and Innovation Centre Network), Lotta Karlsson-Andersson, CEO of Activa Foundation, and Adrián Zittelli Ferrari
Director-General for the European Union Affairs for the Region of Murcia and Representative of the CoR Region of Murcia.

They brought to different perspectives on stage: the one of the EU|BICs (Business Innovation Centres, Incubators, Business Support Organisations, Regional Innovation Agencies, Regional Development Agencies etc), the one of the Civil Society Organisations, and the one of a regional policy maker.

Cristina Fanjul Alonso presented the EU|BICs as multidisciplinary organisations that can act as catalysts for local ecosystems as they can connect the different stakeholders and facilitates on the ground the innovation process, being able to explain/introduce new frameworks and terminology such as RRI and co-creation to different stakeholders (ie: policy makers and SMEs).

Lotta Karlsson-Andersson focused on the importance of creating regional platforms that contribute building coalitions around a perceived problem and co-creating and testing dedicated solutions, thus bringing together actors in a network of shared understanding, trust, and visions.

Adrián Zittelli Ferrari shared the experience of the Region of Murcia in capitalising the results of EU-funded projects (such as CHERRIES) and related EU policies to transform regional innovation policies and instruments. He stressed the importance of international collaborative projects as source of inspiration and mutual learning and the relevance of experimental approaches to regional innovation processes that need to involve citizens more and more.

The workshop continued with an interactive session facilitated via The session aimed at grasping ideas and reflections from the audience on how demand-driven innovation processes and co-creation approaches are/could be applied in other territories (challenges and opportunities).

To conclude, the session highlighted the following findings:

  • Open, Responsible and Inclusive Innovation is a set of processes that can be beneficial beyond normative reasons.
  • Experimental approaches are needed to deal with complexity and uncertainty. They are a way of learning, building coalitions and challenging hardened institutions.
  • Place-based approaches are needed to fit localised problems and capabilities. Context matters!
  • Innovation often is evolutionary. There is a need to manage the transition between practices and approaches.  Implementation includes the discontinuation of old solutions.
  • Power and resources. Not every stakeholder has the same preconditions to engage in this innovation journeys but that does not mean they are not relevant.

Rationales for Regional Innovation Policies are changing as there is an increasing push for moving from innovation for developing an economic competitive advantage (S3) to innovation for meeting sustainability goals (S4, Agenda 2030). The required transformation of socio-technical systems will require a broad set of innovations, and the source of innovation thus might arise from unusual spots and cooperations.

As CHERRIES showed through its regional experiments, RRI driven approaches can un-lock the innovation potential of the wider society therefore leading to the Next Generation of Regional Innovation Policies: Open, Responsible and Inclusive.

If you missed the session, you can watch the recordings here

And you can download the CHERRIES presentation here: 2022_EWRC_CHERRIESeu workshop


CHERRIES Murcia final workshop | The RRI bet in the regional healthcare sector

Opening of the CHERRIES Murcia regional workshop

Last October 4th, CHERRIES project has been presented in the Region of Murcia to more than 50 stakeholders including innovators in healthcare and ICT, entrepreneurs, public and private institutions and innovation agents.

During the event, the regional partners (CEEIM, Murcia Region, Ticbiomed, Sistema Murciano de Salud) presented the CHERRIES methodology and the way it was applied to the territorial context by implementing RRI processes in the healthcare sector.

The attenedees had also the chance to learn more about the prototype that was co-developed during the project implementation to early detect the progression of Multiple Sclerosis: a co-creation process that involved several stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, patients, healthcare professionals and researchers.

Adrián Zittelli, Director-General for the European Union Affairs for the Region of Murcia and Representative of the CoR Region of Murcia, explained that “the joint participation of users with researchers and sector professionals, from the very beginning of the R&I processes, offers innovative companies the advantage of betting on a more democratic and efficient procedure while reducing the time to get research results. Moreover, the innovative CHERRIES methodology contributes making the Region of Murcia a benchmark in the health sector, therefore becoming a pole of attraction for companies active in the sector.”

Read more about the event here: La Región se posiciona en la vanguardia europea de los modelos de innovación sanitaria

If you want to know more about the results of CHERRIES Murcia and hear the reflections of regional policy makers on the regional pilot,  join the CHERRIES Workshop at the EU Week of Regions and Cities 2022: “Shaping the Next Generation of Regional Innovation Policies: Open, Responsible and Inclusive” on October 12th (9.30-11 CET).

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