A Responsible Research & Innovation Model for Impact investment & Responsible Startups (RRIstart)

Project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme
Grant Agreement: 101005937
Duration: 36 months
Starting date: 1/03/2021

RRIstart will be carried out by a consortium of 6 organisations from 4 European countries, coordinated by the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

RRIstart intends to promote RRI among STEM start-ups, in the framework of the EU support of “impact investment” (i.e., investments that produce fair results from an environmental, social and economic point of view). Based on this, the project has the specific objectives of developing an innovative RRI-based model for start-ups, complemented by an RRI-based impact investment indicator list in a multi-stakeholder (beyond the quadruple helix, represented by research, industry, policy and civil society sectors) context. RRIstart will also identify new constellations of actors to enable RRI-based start-ups and impact investment and will pilot the contextualized RRI model for start-ups and the adapted RRI-based impact investment indicators through them.

The research activities of RRIstart will be carried out using mainly qualitative methodologies, including literature review, stakeholder consultation and implementation of pilot projects with start-ups, which will be accompanied whit a systematic observation process. These pilot activities will involve STEM start-ups in the fields of environment, advanced materials and biotechnology (agrifood). The research, networking and scientific communication activities will include exchanges and relations also outside the countries of the Consortium members.

RRIstart comprises 6 Work Packages. K&I will be involved in the main activities and deliverables of the project and will be responsible for the WP3 entitled “Policy, Governance & Exploitation”, in which it will follow, in particular, the definition of the “Guidelines for governance settings for exploiting RRI in start-ups”.


Kick off Meeting of RRIstart project
On the 3 rd of March the on-line Kick-off Meeting of RRIstart (A Responsible Research & Innovation Model for Impact investment & Responsible Startups) project took place, with the participation of the representatives of all the organisations that form the Consortium. The works were opened by Andrea Riccio, Project Coordinator on behalf of Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza. Vincent Blok and Eugen Popa, of Wageningen University (the Netherlands) presented the research activities that will be at the core of the project and that will involve all partners in the framework of WP1. In their presentation Blok and Popa highlighted the importance of studying the motivational aspects related to the adoption of ”Impact Investment” and to make a connection with “responsible innovation”. The results of this first phase of the work will then be tested in WP2 with ad-hoc pilot initiatives. This phase of the project was presented by Adrian Solomon e Nikos Zaharis, of SEERC (South-East European Research Centre) of Thessaloniki (Greece), the leaders of WP2. Andrea Declich, of K&I (Italy), leader of WP3, presented its content. WP3 is geared to promote the involvement of a broad constellation of Quadruple Helix actors in a dialogue on the issues of responsible investments and RRI. The output will be the formulation of a set of guidelines and recommendations. The dissemination activities of the project were presented by Martina Iannuzzi, representative of the European Business Angels Network – EBAN, based in Brussels (Belgium). The importance of the communication angle was underlined by Pepa Krasteva, the Project Officer that will oversee the project on behalf of the European Research Executive Agency (REA), who suggested to launch such activities from the very start of the project, in consideration of the magnitude of the audience that RRIstart is tasked to reach. Also the other Greek partner of the project, Tsoulis Vasileios, representative of YET (Youth Entrepreneurship Education Technology) took part in the KoM.