NRP 77 research and exchange initiated

Despite the challenges posed by a year of pandemic, NRP 77 researchers have started work.

The research phase of NRP 77 “Digital Transformation” has commenced. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the hiring of doctoral students in some projects or meant that practical work – for instance at schools and hospitals – could not begin as originally planned, all projects have in the meantime started work as far as possible.

All the project descriptions have been published on the programme website, and in the early summer the texts are to be complemented by short videos presenting the programme and the individual modules. A compact printed programme brochure is also due to appear soon.

The pandemic has led to restrictions in activities throughout society, in some cases of sweeping proportions. National Research Programme NRP 77, which is investigating the effects of digitalisation, was prompted by the difficult conditions to hold a fully digital two-day kick-off meeting in September 2020. Some 200 representatives covering all research groups came together for a virtual plenary session, and stakeholders from a wide range of areas formulated their research expectations.

These included Johannes Mure from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Andreas Klausing from educa, the platform for digital learning, Olga Meier-Popa from the Swiss Center for Special Needs Education, Gilles Marchand, Director General of SRG SSR, Cornelia Diethelm from the Centre for Digital Responsibility, Stefanie Bosshard from the Swiss Association of Youth Parliaments, Che Wagner from civicLab, Bernhard Weber from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Joëlle Racine from the Unia trade union and Ensar Can from economiesuisse.

Theme-based break-out sessions gave researchers an opportunity to find groups addressing complementary questions and to exchange ideas for cooperation.

A key intention behind the National Research Programme began to take on a concrete form: networked interdisciplinary thinking and working. The exchange with stakeholders marked the beginning of the NRP 77 network’s practice-oriented research work aimed at achieving a high degree of societal relevance.