REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders (RECIPES)
Project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant Agreement: 824665
Duration: 36 months
Start date: 1/01/2019
The project official website
The three-year EU-funded project entitled REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders (RECIPES) addresses the topical question as to how to protect health and safety of persons and the environment whilst promoting innovation.
RECIPES will carry out legal research on the precautionary principle, today recognized as a general principle in EU law, which enables public authorities to adopt precautionary measures in situations of scientific uncertainty in particular in case of a risk to human health and/or the environment. The project will then develop eight case studies on highly debated issues such as glyphosate, endocrine disrupters, GMOs and New Gene-Editing techniques. It will moreover develop a new toolkit for the application of the precautionary principle taking into account the innovation principle. It will involve engagement of stakeholders in all stages of the research and will moreover develop mechanisms for public involvement in research and innovation. RECIPES will also develop scenarios for the future application of the precautionary principle and co-create, in cooperation with different stakeholders, new tools and approaches to the precautionary principle to help policymakers and other stakeholders to assess risks and uncertainty and allow decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis, responding to the question how to responsibly decide on precaution and innovation.
RECIPES project is coordinated by the University of Maastricht and it is carried out by a Consortium composed of 11 partners, representing all geographical regions of Europe and brings together academic expertise from three leading academic groups in the field of the precautionary principle, three major European players in Technology Assessment and five important non-academic research institutes. Among the latter, K&I as a gender expert partner, will guarantee that a gender and diversity perspective will be taken into account in all the phases of the project, with a particular emphasis on the gender-sensitive analysis of the case studies.
The “recipes” project at the start
On January 24, the RECIPES project was launched in Maastricht with a public conference (Reconciling science, innovation and precaution through the engagement of stakeholders). The event, hosted by the faculty of law of the university (project coordinator), allowed the partners, some of the international advisors of the project, as well as representatives of the European Commission, to get to know each other in person, to illustrate the aims and activities provided by RECIPES and to debate the very topical issues raised by the principles of precaution and innovation, not only in Europe, but throughout the world. The work of the eleven partners continued in the afternoon with an examination of the activities planned for the coming months, starting with WP1, directed by the Maastricht University and aimed at taking stock of the precautionary principle since 2000 from the point of view of implementation in the national regulations, the presence in the public debate and the awareness of European citizens. Work continued on WP2, coordinated by the IASS (Germany) and focused on the execution of eight case studies related to the adoption of the precautionary principle in relation to technological innovations in the environmental, health and food sectors. As an intermezzo, the partners attended a public lecture by Michael Ignatieff, president of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. WP3, implemented under the responsibility of the DBT (Denmark) and aimed at developing new approaches and tools to the precautionary principle, was subsequently illustrated and discussed.
During the second day of the meeting, the communication and dissemination strategy of the project (WP5, directed by Ecologic, partner from Germany) was showcased. Antonio Scarafino of the Research Executive Agency then outlined the main requirements of the grant agreement. Subsequently, the financial and practical arrangements of the consortium, making the subject of WP6, were discussed.