Meet Wouter Boon

From January 1, 2022, Wouter Boon will be co-track leader of the Public Engagement track within the Open Science Programme. In particular for stakeholder engagement. Five questions for Wouter for further acquaintance.

Wouter Boon

Who is Wouter Boon?

I work as an associate professor in the Innovation Sciences department of the Copernicus Institute. We look at how new products and services are developed and distributed and are particularly interested in innovations for grand societal challenges, such as sustainability and healthy ageing. I teach there, especially in the field of innovations in the life sciences sector. I also conduct research into the role of users in innovation processes. As of January 1 2022, I will be involved in the UU Open Science Program as a co-track leader in the field of stakeholder engagement.

How did you get involved in Open Science?

From my research I have long been interested in the question of how to involve citizens, companies and other social organizations in innovation and research. For example, I looked at the role of patient organizations in pharmaceutical R&D processes, citizens who invent new products themselves using 3D printers, and how researchers create a completely new market for eHealth with their inventions. My research mainly shows that users of innovation and research are proactive and can be involved in all phases of the innovation process (agenda setting, implementation and diffusion). I think because of this research interest I was asked to be part of the Open Science Public Engagement Fellows network.

What would you like to draw specific attention to in the context of Open Science?

It will come as no surprise that I would therefore like to draw specific attention to stakeholder engagement as part of public engagement: how should researchers deal with societal parties such as companies and citizen collectives, how can people learn from each other, and how can stakeholder engagement be stimulated and organised?

What are the main challenges concerning Open Science?

[see previous question]

What are you proud of in relation to Open Science?

Together with Carien Duisterwinkel, Madelijn Strick and Marian Thunnissen I wrote an exploration of how researchers are currently working on stakeholder engagement. We asked employees of the UU and stakeholders with whom they work what the most important impeding and facilitating factors are, and what UU as an organization could offer to make stakeholder engagement easier.