Responsible Research and Innovation

1. Ethics

As part of Work Package 8, the project consortium will set out the ‘ethics requirements’ that the project will comply with. Throughout the project lifetime, the compliance of all project activities with ethical aspects will be assessed, guaranteed and documented. Ethical aspects that affect MetaFluidics pertain GMO manipulation and biosafety, animal experimentation, access and benefit sharing (ABS) to environmental samples and storing of personal data.

2. Gender

Gender equality is a cross-cutting issue in Horizon 2020 and in the MetaFluidics consortium, the European Commission’s efforts to increase women’s participation in research programmes have been carefully considered.

From the MetaFluidics members, 3 of the 7 WP leaders are female (43%); 5 of the 13 PIs are female scientists (38%), 3 of which are from industry. These figures already represent an improvement from current figures for female PhD graduates. In line with the effort of promoting gender equality as a target of the Europe 2020 initiative, we will enforce equal opportunity enrolment for the new contracts envisioned in MetaFluidics in compliance with the European Charter for Researchers.

Gabrielle Potocki-Veronese from partner INSAT will be acting as the gender equality champion and will be responsible for managing MetaFluidics in an inclusive way, paying particular attention to the recruitment, role and involvement of young female researchers in the consortium and offering advice for future career development after involvement in MetaFluidics.

3. Open Access

In line with the European Commission’s recommendations and in order to contribute to a wider dissemination of the scientific results, all the Metafluidics partners have opted for the “gold” open-access model.
As soon as possible and at the latest on publication, we will deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications. Moreover, each beneficiary will deposit the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications. Each beneficiary will ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest on publication or within six months of publication. Open access will also be provided to the bibliographic metadata that identify the deposited publication.

4. Public Engagement & Science Education

The MetaFluidics consortium intends to share the knowledge generated during the project lifetime with a wide variety of stakeholders and the different communication tools will be tailored to each target audience. More specifically, the target audiences will include:

  • Specialized audiences: industrial science students in workshops, researchers and scientists in partner universities and research centres, standardization actors in the field of metagenomics
  • End users: e.g. the food and agricultural sectors, the green bioenergy conversion sector, the health sector, the biocatalysis sector in the pharma and fine chemical industries, etc.
  • The general public (of all ages, genders and backgrounds)

First, sharing and promoting MetaFluidics news and events through social media tools, press releases and the present website are an excellent way to engage the community, create awareness about the project and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The MetaFluidics partners also plan to organise or participate in various outreach events.

In particular, MetaFluidics has been selected for ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) 2018 in Toulouse, whose motto is ”Sharing Science: towards new horizons”. ESOF is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe. It is dedicated to scientific research and innovation and offers a unique framework for interaction and debate for scientists, innovators, policy makers, business people and the general public. MetaFluidics will run a scientific session entitled “Going to Extremes”, which will convey the impact of extremophile research on society, e.g. through the development of cutting-edge biotechnological tools for genetic diagnosis but also with molecules used routinely in household care. The session will be structured around interviews with researchers on 4 extreme environments: hot, cold, saline and acidic. MetaFluidics has also applied for the “Science in the City” Festival, which will invest the city of Toulouse and its surroundings during ESOF 2018. As a free event, the Science in the City Festival will be aimed at people of all ages who are curious about science and innovation. For more information about ESOF: https://www.esof.eu/en/

Throughout the project, the MetaFluidics partners also actively contribute to “Open Days” at their respective institutions. During project meetings hosted by academic partners, seminars open to the members of the host institution are regularly organised to disseminate content related to the project, with lectures given by “guests” to undergraduate or graduate students. Furthermore, with institutional school visits to research facilities frequently taking place at different project partners’ facilities, project partners aim to include information about the objectives and activities of the project, as well as its results, publications, deliverables, etc.