Since 2018 ADEME, Fondation de France, Agropolis Fondation, Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso and Fondation Charles Leopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’Homme have jointly committed to supporting participatory research through the experimental scheme: CO3: CO-COnstruction de Connaissances pour la transition écologique et solidaire . This scheme has made it possible to fund 44 projects and to initiate a genuine reflection on participatory research.
What is the CO3 program??
The CO3 program encourages virtuous collaboration between researchers and civil society, with a view to producing new knowledge and providing answers to the food, health and agro-environmental challenges of the years ahead. CO3 is both a place for funding participatory research projects and a place for capitalizing on and reflecting on the knowledge produced and the methods used to achieve it. The Sciences Citoyennes association acts as coordinator and facilitator for this second function. The scheme offers two types of support: short term for "emerging" projects, to give heterogeneous groups (civil society and research laboratories) the time they need to find a common subject and scientific problem, and longer term (three years) "consolidated" projects that can demonstrate the relevance and efficiency of these participatory research methods in meeting societal challenges.
One of the original features of projects funded under the CO3 scheme is that they are supported by a "Third-Party Observer", who is responsible for providing an outside view of the project, particularly in terms of its participatory component and the co-construction of knowledge.
Between 2018 and 2021, three sessions of calls for projects were launched. Nearly 232 projects were submitted, and a total of 44 were selected, with funding ranging from €15k for emerging projects to €150k for consolidated projects.
In 2021, the Comité d’Orientation Scientifique Pluraliste (COSP), half of which is made up of researchers and the other half of civil society players, has been partially renewed. They collectively drew up a new project evaluation grid.
The theme of the call for proposals has been narrowed down to agro-ecological transition, through the transformation of agricultural and food systems towards greater resilience, environmental sustainability and social justice.
In 2023, the program will be capitalized on to better understand the challenges of participatory research and its funding mechanisms.