In the run up to the European Gender Summit 2011, genSET (summit organiser), supoported by ESF launched a Public Consultation on the Future of Gender and Innovation in Europe. We invited all stakeholders in European science and innovation to participate in the consultation. More than 300 individuals and institutions responsed, from 42 countries. The in-depth consultation on the future of research, innovation and gender was launched to complement the EC Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding”. The consultation contained 29 questions, focusing on the three key dimensions of this debate:
|1. Research cultures and scientific quality
2. Innovation cultures and creativity
3. Structural change and social responsibility
The Preliminary Results (pdf) of the consultation were distributed to European Gender Summit 2011 delegates and further discussed at the event. The results of this extensive consultation, involving hundreds of representatives of the scientific community, were compiled and distilled by genSET, incorporating fruther feedback from Science and Gender scholarship leaders, into the Policy Manifesto on "Integrated Action on the Gender Dimension in Research". As such, the document complements the consensus recommendations of: a) the genSET Science Leaders Panel , b) the DG Research, Innovation and Science Expert Group on Structural Change in Research Institutions (pdf) , and c) the Stanford Gendered Innovations project. This document contributes important evidence and understanding of how Europe can benefit from more effective mainstreaming of the gender dimension in research, innovation and in the scientific systems.The Manifesto was presented to the Máire Geoghegan Quinn, EC Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science on 16th December 2011.
The manifesto attracted thousands of signatures from women and men working in science, head of institutions and department; professors; researchers; staff scientists; doctoral and postdoctoral candidates within months of its launch on-line.The widespread support that it has received from the science communityconfirms the overwhelming desire for changing research and innovation cultures and for making science more responsive and responsible to the needs of women and men as equal members of society.
The green paper released by the European Commission, From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding, was a discussion document intended to stimulate debate and launch a process of consultation. A green paper usually presents a range of ideas and is meant to invite interested individuals or organisations to contribute views and information and is followed by a white paper, an official set of proposals that is used as a vehicle for their development into law. In this case, the white paper that followed is the framework of Horizon 2020, described by the European Commission as "the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe".
Why was a complementary consultation on gender and innovation needed within this framework?
The correlation between research excellence & innovation and a system based on gender equality was not fully explored in the questions, and thus responses, to the EC green paper. This complementary consultation addressed this issue in detail, focussing specifically on the Future of Gender and Innovation in Europe, providing important evidence to the policy debate on the community's views.