Stakeholder and public engagement are key elements of EU policy development, as well as of responsible research and innovation. Over a period of three years, BioSTEP has designed and implemented a wide range of citizen and stakeholder engagement activities regarding the development of Europe's bioeconomy. This paper, edited by Ecologic Institute's Holger Gerdes and Zoritza Kiresiewa, presents a set of research recommendations, which builds on the lessons learned from the application of BioSTEP's participatory tools. The BioSTEP research recommendations are available for download.
BioSTEP's participatory tools ranged from education and information activities to intensive stakeholder dialogues and the co-creation of regional bioeconomy roadmaps. This paper presents a set of recommendations for future effective stakeholder and public engagement in the bioeconomy, aiming to maximise the impact of EU Research & Innovation. BioSTEP’s research recommendations focus on five distinct topics:
- Integrating priorities of civil society into bioeconomy research agendas
- Developing and testing models for co-creation in the bioeconomy
- Communicating complex topics of the bioeconomy to the general public
- Analysing the regional transition to the bioeconomy
- Ensuring responsible research and inclusive innovation in the bioeconomy
These research recommendations go beyond the bioeconomy and can be applied to other topics where effective stakeholder and public engagement can improve EU policy development, research and innovation.