This proposal concerns an event in June 2021 that will gather 200-300 leading international researchers in the field of studies of science and innovation policy as well as interested policymakers. Analyses within this area constitute an important foundation for science and innovation policies across sectors and thematic areas. Key questions in recent years have been, for example, how societal challenges can be addressed through public-private partnerships in research and innovation, the importance of such activities for sustainability transitions, and the introduction of responsible research and innovation frameworks in firms and public organisations. The conference is thus relevant for all programmes listed in the call for proposals, and in particular the programme Industry and services.
A couple of decades ago, the concepts of science and innovation became steady partners, especially in policy. Countries, regions and the EU developed policies and support instruments for science and innovation – indicating that there is a close relationship between these two activities and therefore also policy areas. Although this is certainly sometimes the case, the Eu-SPRI 2021 conference invites participants to a more critical and reflexive discussion of this link. What are the problems of seeing science and innovation as two sides of the same coin? Is the merger of the two policy areas in some cases a barrier to solving societal challenges as much as it represents a solution? When is it helpful to look at science and innovation, and when do we need to keep them apart? Such questions are not just important for society, but also for developing the community interested in science and innovation policy studies.