SocKETs – Citizens make industrial development more relevant for society
Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) potentially have great impact on society and on relations between humans and technology. The EU Commission defines KETs as the true raw materials for innovation and the green economy, and such cutting-edge technologies are building blocks of new products in the fields of food, health and industry.
Technology development aligned with the needs of citizens
KETs are important for the development of sustainable solutions and for our engagement in the societal challenges. Examples of key enabling technologies are nano technology, biotech, Internet of things (iot), blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. Because of the great societal potential, it is critical for the industrial development to consider priorities, expectations and concerns of the citizens in innovation processes. In the years 2020-2023, the SocKETs project will test and develop methods to engage citizens in the use of new innovative technologies.
Technology and citizens
The EU funded SocKETs project brings together researchers from both science, social science and humanities with industry, manufactures, professional users and citizens to test and develop engagement tools for the industry. The industry actors have an interest to increase their skills to interact with citizens and stakeholders in their work, and with input from users and society representatives to align the technologies with societal values and needs.
Six test cases on health, recycling and work life help to develop engagement tools
SocKETs runs test cases in six different European countries. In Denmark methods are tested in the e-health field. What does easy possibilities for individual monitoring of heart beat, temperature and blood pressure mean to the relationship between the citizen and the health system? Other test cases are in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Estonia. Some cases focus on co-creation in recycling of building materials and sustainable supply. Other cases test experiences with new solutions on industrial work places, where technologies like artificial intelligence change the labour functions.
In the project we test co-creation tools, develop prototypes, evaluate and use the experiences to make an online toolbox with inspiration for more dialogue and linkages between technology development and societal needs. Industry actors as well as municipalities, regions, NGO’s and decisions makers can freely access and use the tools and methods.
Co-creation is adopted as both the means and the end target for SocKETs. Through co-creation, citizens, manufacturers and users experiment and develop tools to be used in the industry sector and to make co-creation more widely used.
The perspectives of the citizens add value to the development of tech products and they contribute to courses of innovation with their priorities and expectations. When working with co-creation in SocKETs, we also explore the meaning of the cultural contexts, which vary from workplace to workplace, from country to country and play a role in any structural context where key actors like industry, scientists and policy makers collaborate. The cultural contexts explored in the project cover aspects like gender, norms and values.
Interactive exhibitions at European science centres
In addition to the toolbox targeted the industry, the results and work process of SocKETs will be communicated through science museums in four European countries in 2023. The science centres have core competences communicating technology and science to the broad public. The SocKET interactive exhibitions will also demonstrate the value of co-creation and dialogue between technology developers, citizens and civil society. The hope is both to raise the civil consciousness of the important role that the innovation technologies play solving the societal challenges, but also to encourage more citizens to engage themselves in technology.
SocKETs (Societal engagement with Key Enabling Technologies) is a project funded by EU under Horizon2020 (Grant Agreement no. 958277). The project runs from 01.10.2020 – 01.10.2023, it is coordinated by the Danish Board of Technology, and has partners from six countries.
For more information, please contact coordinator Kathrine Collin Hagan.