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Welcome to HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area


First joint cooperation of three international research agency networks on knowledge exchange and valorisation in the social sciences and humanities.

Joint Statement Knowledge Exchange and Valorisation

Summary of the Workshop on Knowledge Exchange and Valorisation in London

HERA, NORFACE and the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) are pleased to announce their cooperation in exploring how funding agencies encourage collaboration between researchers and non-academic stakeholders. In a joint statement, the three international research agency networks commit to articulating the importance of valorisation and how joint learning and sharing best practices can be utilized to advance international research collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. The aim of this collaborative effort is to increase awareness of social sciences and humanities research and its application to societal challenges and needs. The joint statement is the result of a workshop on knowledge exchange and valorisation, held in London in July 2015. More than 40 attendees representing over 20 research councils and research organisations from across Europe and the Americas participated in this event.    

In the joint statement HERA, NORFACE and T-AP commit to a wider dissemination of research knowledge and engagement of non-academic partners in their activities. The workshop in London generated a good opportunity to learn from each other and exchange best practices. One of the main conclusions of the day was that knowledge exchange, valorisation and knowledge mobilisation are not universally defined. However, the three international networks do not seek to establish a single discourse and neither to replicate national initiatives. They aim to identify how to make best use of national learning and to extend this knowledge to an international level, using their respective platforms as dissemination tools. They also will identify the areas where HERA, NORFACE and T-AP can provide an unique perspective to both researchers and the wider society.

Making research collaboration more inclusive and taking into account the input from the private sector and the third sector should lead to a deeper and wider impact on society and societal needs. By advocating a more comprehensive view of the research ecosystem and exploring how increased joint learning of best practices can be delivered, HERA, NORFACE and T-AP aim to lead the agenda on knowledge exchange and valorisation in the social sciences and humanities. The insights from the workshop, which can be found in the public summary of the workshop, will act as guidelines for the development of new international research programmes. Knowledge exchange and valorisation of SSH are also on the agenda of the development of the Horizon2020 work programmes.

With support from the HERA, NORFACE and T-AP research programmes, researchers develop knowledge   that helps to understand and address pressing societal challenges like radicalization, migration and rising inequality within societies. However, stakeholders who can use this knowledge are often unaware of it, and policymakers and researchers are not yet sufficiently connected to reap the maximum benefits from knowledge exchange. HERA, NORFACE, and T-AP’s collaborative effort aims not only to encourage more inclusive research, but also to bridge the gap between research outcomes and wider society by making contributions from the social sciences and humanities more visible and accessible outside of the academic research environment.

HERA, NORFACE and T-AP consider this workshop as the first opportunity for collaboration across the networks and look forward to a closer relationship in the future, and they encourage the wider society to be part of the process.

For more information, please contact Dr. Renée van Kessel-Hagesteijn, r.vankessel@nwo.nl

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