JRC Makers-in-Residence Programme


JRC Makers-in-Residence Programme

JRC Makers-in-Residence programme

The JRC makers-in-residence programme is an annual, short-term research-focused residence hosted by the JRC Makerspace, in the Joint Research Centre's Ispra site, in Italy. The residence is centred around specific concepts and themes directly tied to the science and technology policy topics considered in the Joint Research Centre's Annual Work Programme. Each year a new theme is proposed. The JRC makers-in-residence programme aims to:

  • attract innovative ideas and original thematic projects (that can combine art, science and technology);
  • promote partnerships with local, national and international makers;
  • improve the open knowledge around the residence selected topics;
  • foster spaces for co-creation.

During the duration of the residency, makers are asked to produce a tangible outcome, be it a workshop, a prototype, an artwork, or an exhibition.

The programme within the objectives of the CC-DEMOS

The JRC makers-in-residence programme is part of a new strategy that views citizens as epistemic actors and not just people whose opinions need to be surveyed. Furthermore, it makes the JRC makerspace visible to the makers' community, which is a necessary legitimacy.  The main strategic reasons to run a residence programme with makers through the JRC makerspace are:  

  1. Implementing the experimental angle of citizen engagement as per pillar experimentation of the CC;
  2. Complement and even underpin other citizen engagement activities that are ongoing for policy or science for policy files;
  3. Demonstration for the makers' movement on how their interventions can be made helpful for institutionalised policy design;
  4. Connecting directly to the makers' communities and strengthening the place/visibility of the JRC makerspace within the network of makerspaces.

In the last few years, the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy (CC-DEMOS) has experimented with citizen engagement through makerspaces, demonstrating the value of co-design, tinkering, and prototyping to have conversations about the science and policy issues of concern (e.g., the future of work; connected and automated vehicles). In 2020 the JRC gave the first grants to five makers in (virtual) residences focusing on one of the policy files it was working on, the Pollinators Decline Initiative.

The plan is to have each year a maximum of four makers in residence for the next five years, i.e., 2022-2027.

What does the programme offers

The JRC Makers-in-Residence programme offers participants the possibility to: 

  • develop and original thematic project (that can combining art, science and technology);
  • have access to a unique space at the crossroad between science and policy - the JRC Makerspace;
  • have financial support in the format of a grant & travel allowance;
  • have access to the necessary digital fabrication equipment to go from an idea into a physical prototype;
  • exchange ideas with the JRC technical and scientific staff;
  • foster partnerships with other makers;
  • publish the findings of the work carried out.

Previous editions

JRC Makers-in-Residence Edition #1

Edition #1 of the JRC Makers-in-Residence programme covered two main themes:

  • Pollinators decline: can you make the difference?
  • Youth: a life through a pandemic

JRC Makers-in-Residence Edition #2 (2022-2023)

The second edition of the JRC Makers-in-Residence programme was focused on the EU Missions. The CC-DEMOS supported DG RTD with citizen engagement in the EU Missions, in particular, the missions on Climate Neutral Cities; Cancer; Soils; and Oceans. 

Applications to the programme were open between 16th August and 15th September 2022.