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Working group for synergies and innovation

Working group for synergies and innovation

Eveline Wandl-Vogt (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Austrian Academy of Sciences
Alexander Schatek (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Topotheque
Thomas Palfinger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Austrian Academy of Sciences

The number of citizen science and crowdsourcing projects is continuously increasing, both in Austria and worldwide. The actors in the projects are becoming more diverse and the operation structures are becoming more complex.

This thereby also increases the importance of social networks and the developed technical applications employed in day-to-day research, for example, to save resources, widen the user base of available tools and develop an innovative problem-solving focused project with the right partners.
For this reason, exchanges between projects and sounding out possible synergies are at the forefront of what the working group for synergies and innovation does. Although citizen science appears in a wide range of disciplines, the workflows are similar for all and multidisciplinary learning can take place in all areas, while it is also possible and reasonable to adapt tools. Innovation largely takes place by imitating and transferring tried and tested methods to new areas of application. This stimulates cooperation across disciplines and existing social groups, which should also have the effect of strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of citizen science.     

The working group is aimed at the systematic development of scientific partnerships. Existing networks shall be made more visible and existing tools more available. Furthermore, it also discusses where there is need for new developments or further development of existing tools and which partnerships and processes are necessary for being able to have constructive and results-focused collaboration.

It is with this in mind that an open source strategy should be outlined, so as to make access to knowledge and tools as open as possible and guarantee their use and further development across all projects for the community.

Therefore, the working group’s objectives are:

  • To identify synergies and opportunities for cooperation between people/projects/institutions
  • To identify challenges and potential for innovation
  • To review people, projects, existing practices and tools in citizen science projects
  • To design and document best practices for scientific partnerships
  • To cultivate scientific partnerships
    To create a framework in which it is possible to collaborate, e.g.:

    • Developing a strategy for cross-sector collaboration
    • Proactively connecting citizens and scientists
    • Drafting a needs list
      (e.g. a rewards system for citizen science projects)
    • Compiling joint resources
      (e.g. thesaurus/ontology for citizen science projects)
    • Developing tools
      (e.g. for promoting trust within citizen science projects)
    • Developing an open source strategy for the Österreich forscht platform
  • To link current projects to a European/global infrastructure of initiatives to utilise existing potential

Work duration: 2 years

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