On the 20th and 27th March, the University of Deusto organised the 1st Conference on Deusto Research Social Impact. Social agents (public administration entities, business, NGOs, school students and professors) presented together with Deusto researchers concrete examples of research projects with an impact on society. They have demonstrated the impact of University research on important societal issues, such as ageing and wellbeing, social inclusion, waste management, gender, media and their impact on education.
At a time when the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the University of Deusto 2015-2018 is at its equator, the Conference took stock of the social impact of University research, demonstrating with concrete initiatives how it responds in a transformative way to the challenges of our society.
The event counted with the participation of more than 175 participants, including José María Guibert, Rector of the University of Deusto, Adolfo Morais, Deputy Minister for Universities and Research of the Basque Government and Eva Ferreira, Director of Unibasq - Agency for Quality of the Basque University System.
According to José María Guibert words “University research has a role to play as an agent of social change. (...) In Deusto, we believe that research is crucial for our world, as the challenge is that this research has an impact on the society. (...) We have prepared a Master Plan for the Social Impact of Research.”
Adolfo Morais assured that “The University of Deusto is recognised for its commitment to the society and to a more inclusive, human, fair and sustainable world. (...) As regards research, Deusto has been taking very important steps (...) It is a challenge and a need that Universities, as well as other research organisations, bring in an open and efficient way the results and impact of research to the society”.
Eva Ferreira said “Our main challenge is to assess and measure how excellent research is generating social benefit.”
Participants agreed that research should pursue an impact beyond academia and focus on the transformation of today’s society. Interdisciplinarity and co-creation with social agents are crucial to develop research with impact.
More information about the event and the presentations can be found here.