Societal impact

Human language is the basis of culture and social life. A profound understanding of it is valuable to societal challenges that involve communication. For example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communication and meetings were held increasingly on-line. The Language in Interaction consortium utilized its expertise to give recommendations on how to optimize communication for on-line teaching and how to streamline conversations in on-line group meetings.

Our consortium aims at implementing research outcomes directly in society. As staying in the lead in science imposes high demands on researchers, general dissemination and PR activities both within the consortium and to outside world are organised by the LiI-office.

In addition, one work package is specifically dedicated to societal impact within our organizational structure. The focus of this work package is on charting and developing ways for LiI research outcomes to be applicable and relevant in the outside world. It shapes the LiI infrastructure for societal impact by ensuring that the means and personnel are available to support researchers in their efforts.

These range from ideas, theories, inventions and innovations towards actual use and benefit to society. Key innovation is the active encouragement of LiI researchers to transform ideas into commercial and/or societal products. The Societal Impact WP coaches and assists them in identifying and designing applications (of any kind), in finding partners, and finding their way in the world of patent and grant application. Where necessary, external infrastructure will be recruited consisting of tools, personnel, organization and expertise. Members of the Societal Impact WP participate in research projects in the domain of language research that can be applied in clinical, educational or technological settings.

The Societal Impact work package connects the expertise of Language in Interaction to societal partners. In this way, research outcomes are translated into applications for society. The work package also supports the involvement of researchers in large collaborative grant proposals such as NWA and Horizon Europe.

The Societal Impact work package has participated in promising research lines in language research that can be applied in clinical or technological settings. The work package was also involved in several PhD projects:

  • Feedback loops in learning to perceive and produce non-native speech contrasts
  • Basal ganglia thalamocortical mechanisms of cognitive control in speaking
  • Data driven investigation of intrinsic dynamic brainstates underlying language processing

Some examples of applications are:

Team members

Prof. dr. Peter Hagoort
Work Package Leader
Programme Director
PI / Coordinator BQ2
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Dr. Annemarie van Dooren
Societal Impact

Dr. Esther Steenbeek
Coordinator (Societal Impact Officer)
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Julia Berezutskaya – PhD
Jana Thorin – PhD
Alessandro Lopopolo – PhD
Prof. dr. Peter Desain – Work Package Leader
Prof. dr. Antal van den Bosch – Work Package Leader
Dr. Pashiera Barkhuysen – Coordinating postdoc