Unveiling INTEGER: addressing gaps, facilitator profile, and a real-life example through stakeholder voices

In the quest to bridge the gap between society and science, INTEGER is taking center stage. According to Marylyn Martina Addo, the esteemed Professor and Director of the Institute for Infection Research and Vaccine Development (IIRVD) at UKE, Hamburg, INTEGER aims to be the missing link through the col.laber who could “fill this void and fill this gap, and reach out to other networks and support the transfer of knowledge from society to the science and vice-versa”.

Col.laber is a neologism to express the person who has an enabler and bridger profile, carefully defined and trained for the facilitation of the next generation of living labs known as Col·laboratories. Unlike conventional entrepreneurs focused on products and services, Col.labers are socio-digital entrepreneurs dedicated to creating an environment where social, business, and technology-driven innovations converge, fostering collaboration among the quadruple helix actors.

When contemplating the essential traits of a proficient INTEGER facilitator (i.e. col.laber), Theda Minthe, Head of Science City Hannover and part of the Mayor’s Office, was consulted. She emphasized that a successful facilitator should first need to know why he/she is bringing people together, and for what. Then, she advises that a facilitator should be “open and curious to listen to other people, to bring them together, to understand where they live, how they think, why they behave like they do”. Combining love and a touch of missionary zeal, these facilitators can set actions into motion.

A tangible example of this approach is illustrated by Lena Reisloh, an expert in Public Health at the Subdirectorate for Health Promotion of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPCAT). Leveraging a mobility-focused application, the initiative seeks to enhance patients’ physical health by encouraging walking in green spaces and promoting healthier lifestyles. Supported by the Primary Health Care System, the app’s impact will be carefully analyzed to yield meaningful results.

For a deeper understanding of these inspiring stakeholders’ views, engaging interviews are available in the form of short videos, accessible here:

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