Case Studies

Gaining Public Support for Research & Innovation

The Challenge

While the EU Commission provides substantial funding for malaria treatment and prevention, the general public lacks an overall understanding of the complex issues involved and the need to fund additional research. The Commission was seeking an interactive way to gain public support, promote better understanding of the value of research and innovation, and add to their Responsible Research & Innovation agenda.

The Solution

A PlayDecide game on malaria was  co-created by multiple stakeholders, including the general public. By bringing together policy and research experts with the general public (groups that do not normally interact with one another on an equal footing), they were able to have an open, structured discussion about the controversial issues on conflict and consensus.  

The development of the game brought in expert input from Barcelona Centre for International Health Research, Queen Mary, University of London, Centre of the Cell, and general public input through a network of pan-European museum partners.

The game presented four policy scenarios for participants to discuss and vote on, regarding how malaria should be tackled.

The Impact

The game was a crucial element in validating the concept of engaging the public in a participatory discussion that helps to illustrate the complex issues involved in malaria research and funding options. It was so successful that the game is now included as part of the European Commission’s Responsible Research & Innovation toolkit and implemented across the continent.

The game has been translated into five languages and played at stakeholder events across Europe. The outcomes fed into Barcelona Science Park’s work on malaria and were communicated to their network of stakeholders on a European level.