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Laura Soyer

MA

Laura is a program manager for the Open Innovation in Science Impact Labs with a focus on capability building for transdisciplinary and participatory research projects. Laura is interested in multi-stakeholder collaborations and research-community partnerships that address societal challenges using transdisciplinary research. Her academic background is in the social sciences, she received her undergraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in the fields of law and social anthropology, and her postgraduate education from the University of Vienna. Laura is passionate about working together with citizens, researchers and other stakeholder groups to foster social and inclusive innovations.

OIS Expertise

  • Capability Building

    Laura co-developed training content and material for actors who navigate collaborative projects across the four sectors academia, industry and business, public sector and civil society within the European Horizon 2020 project “RiConfigure”. At the moment, Laura co-manages the capability building program for the OIS Impact Labs and supports researchers and civil society actors in the planning and implementation of transdisciplinary projects and practices. 

  • Impact

    Laura has undertaken a detailed review of existing literature on the impact agenda in different national research landscapes and on impact perceptions and discourses across disciplinary fields. She supports the Impact unit in the planning, reflection and communication of the societal impact of OIS research projects and co-develops workshops for planning and reflecting on research impact strategies. Building relationships and investing in equal partnerships between research, practice communities and civil society is crucial for research to be socially relevant and effective. Laura is very eager to be engaged with researchers and other societal stakeholders in order to increase the impact of research for society and to reach out to different communities. 

  • Lab Coordinator, Open Innovation in Science Impact Lab – Caring Communities for Future Lab

    As lead of the Caring Communities for Future Lab Laura coordinates the implementation of the Open Innovation in Science Impact Lab. This includes managing the call for projects, the application process and accompanying support offer for submitters or the communication with various stakeholders and experts. Laura also sets up a Capability Building and Open Innovation Support program for the projects selected within the Caring Communities for Future call.

Relevant (work) experience

seit Jan 2020

Program Management, Open Innovation in Science Center

Oct 2018 – Jun 2019

Volunteer Management, „Buddies for Refugees” Project, Volkshilfe Wien

Oct 2017 – Apr 2018

Research Assistant, Center for Social Innovation, Vienna

Jul 2016 – Jul 2017

Project Management, Kardinal König Haus, Vienna

May 2015 – Jan 2016

Project Management, European Forum Alpbach

Oct 2015 – Jun 2019

Elected Member of District Council (Landstraße, Vienna)

Relevant resources

Capability Building

Three training programs were developed and designed in the context of the European Horizon 2020 project “RiConfigure”, which explore aspects that facilitate or hinder collaborative innovations and provide tools, methodologies and strategic guidelines to support the design, implementation and evaluation of quadruple helix collaborations in innovation. These different training materials can be implemented in three different formats (Online Course, Workshop and Intensive Course) and cover a wide range of topics and approaches: Inviting civil society on stage, How to kick-start a collaboration and Tackling grand challenges with collaborative action.

Impact Tools

In addition to a detailed literature overview providing insight into the field, different materials and resources support research teams to plan and reflect on the societal impact of their research. For example, the Theory of Change template allows to strategically plan for the societal impact of a (OIS) research project so as to better align the project’s activities with research impact. The Impact and Engagement Study Template enables a narrative demonstration of how impact unfolded in a research project through different reflection questions. The OIS Impact Model and Reflection Instruments, meanwhile, help plan and assess the societal impact of specific OIS activities in a research project.