On the 11th and 12th of July, 2022, the INCENTIVE partnership met for the project’s fourth consortium meeting. It was a benchmark event, as this was the first physical consortium meeting of the project. The meeting was organised by the University of Twente (Design Lab), the coordinator of the project, and hosted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in KEDEA Dissemination Center. The event signaled the completion of half of the project – which had kicked off in February 2021 – and paved the way for the full operationalisation of the four Citizen Science Hubs after the summer break.

During the 2-day meeting, all WP and task leaders had the chance to present in detail the work that they had done since February 2022, the results, challenges, and metrics. Particular attention was paid to the completion of WP2, led by UT, which is almost finished and will continue running only for the updated version of the Digital CS Toolkit. Partners brainstormed on the added value of the Toolkit and how the digital fora should be populated by the project’s community members to create a vibrant Citizen Science community in each pilot university.

Another big part of the meeting was dedicated to WP3, which focuses on the consolidation of Citizen Sciences Hubs within the universities and their practical activation through local engagement activities. UAB, as leader of WP3 and a frontrunner institution in Citizen Science, updated the other partners about the achievements so far and how pilot RPFOs should proceed after summer.

Regarding the evaluation and assessment front, Q-Plan provided a comprehensive update about the implementation of the Monitoring & Evaluation Framework. Furthermore, the main dissemination, communication, and synergising efforts and results (WR and ECSA) were presented to the consortium partners. WR explained that the majority of interim KPIs in the dissemination have been reached and that further support is needed by all partners to close current gaps. To make partners understand the value of dissemination, WR then organised a small co-creation session, where participants were divided into groups and asked to create an imaginary dissemination plan for a selected scientific deliverable of the project. ECSA reported that the pan-European network of INCENTIVE is steadily growing and that partners should make sure to capture and report more informal synergising actions at the local level.

Naturally, new points of attention emerged during the meeting. ECSA mentioned the need to start developing the Network of Interest of the project, which most probably will be created within the Digital Toolkit. Moreover, SDA Bocconi notified the partners that the first INCENTIVE Policy Brief is almost ready and will be released by the end of July. Finally, the partners discussed the participation of INCENTIVE in the upcoming ECSA Conference in Berlin (October 2022), and the possibility to have the next semestrial consortium meeting in Milan, hosted by SDA Bocconi.

The event ended with a dedicated session about the upcoming first review meeting. The meeting will be held online in October 2022, and during it, the PO of the project and the external reviewers will be fully reported on the overall progress of the INCENTIVE activities. As such, they will be able to provide their feedback on whether the INCENTIVE partners have been efficiently accomplishing the project’s objectives, and guide the consortium towards the second phase of the project.

Overall, it was a successful meeting and we are confident that INCENTIVE will be able to fulfill its core aim to promote RRI through Citizen Science Hubs in the four pilot universities!

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