Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania – Faculty of Economics, Socio-Human Sciences and Engineering, Miercurea Ciuc –

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InSPIRES projekt


Funding: European Commission - Horizon 2020

Coordination: Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal


InSPIRES brings together civil society, practitioners and other stakeholders from across and beyond Europe to co-design, jointly pilot, implement and roll out innovative models for Science Shops. The InSPIRES models integrate Responsible Research and Innovation, Open Science and Impact Evaluation as part of their DNA in order to open the research process up in a more strategic way.

Concentrating most of its efforts on Research & Innovation in the health and environmental sectors, giving special attention to gender parity and vulnerable groups (women, the elderly, adolescents, migrants and refugees), InSPIRES brings Science Cafés and other public engagement initiatives into its models together with a “glocal” international focus, for more inclusive, context relevant and culturally adapted community-based participatory research and innovation.

InSPIRES outcomes:

  • give evidence and support political bodies and decision-makers, in order to propose changes in local, regional, national and international policies;

  • nurture the debate about the place and role of society in science, encouraging the systematic and ethical involvement of civil society actors and their societal concerns in the research and innovation processes, and

  • support the development of new Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Science (OSc) strategies and guidelines, in the context of safe spaces to involve and engage civil society in the whole science process.


About the project:


The challenge to be addressed by our proposal has a multidisciplinary aspect, since different, but related research areas are tackled from a complex perspective. A growing body of evidence suggests correlation between air pollution, especially particulate matter (PM) concentrations, and morbidity/mortality associated with cardio-respiratory diseases. However, available statistics reflect merely data from studies conducted in North America and Western Europe, while data from Eastern-Central Europe area are scarcely available even on a local scale. Several specific factors – demographic, genetic, meteorological and other local factors – can determine health effects of airborne particles. Air quality monitoring data suggest that people of Eastern-Central Europe inhabit an area with higher air pollution indexes compared to other European territories.

The aim of our project is to contribute to the development of open science strategies in Harghita County, by tackling a participatory approach to point out, refine and implement a pilot research study concerning possible public health aspects of air pollution. Hence, the idea of the present research project concerning studies on fog and precipitation physical-chemical pollution, microbial load, air quality and health correlations on regional scale has been formulated. Local partnerships with stakeholders were established during previous projects (e.g. SPARKS) and further partnerships are going to be signed with stakeholders directly or indirectly connected to the current participatory research project.


The major expected impacts are as follows:

  • collection and analysis of important data (fog, precipitation, microbiological) regarding the local atmospheric pollution and the possible effects on human health

  • improve the scientific understanding of the above mentioned interactions

  • creation and development of a platform for science shops

  • initiating communication between key institutions in this area as well as the evolvement of NGOs 

  • build the capacity of social actors and policy makers to promote RRI according to local needs and interests

  • public awareness raising and engagement on environmental and health problems, giving special attention to vulnerable groups (represented by “Mothers from Ciuc” Association, Caritas Associations)




Pilot research project: Participatory study of chemical and biological characteristics and public health aspects of fog and precipitations in closed basins of Harghita County

  • physico-chemical characterization of fog and precipitation, HYSPLIT modelling

  • microbiological characterization (metagenomics approach)

  • determination of complex interactions and public health aspects

Participatory actions: Science shop development and inclusion of local actors, policy makers, NGOs 

  • Reverse science café 

  • 1 Thematic workshops with local actors: physico-chemical load 

  • 2 Thematic workshops with local actors: microbiological load

  • 3 Thematic workshops with local actors: complex interactions and public health aspects

  • Science café – dissemination of project results 

  • Policy recommendations elaboration


Dissemination and research communication

  • 1 press conference project kick-off

  • Press release with research project results

  • 1 Open Lab-day

  • Final press conference presenting policy recommendation 

  • Online media presence on webpage, Facebook page, Instagram

Calendar of Events

December 2021