The question why is always interesting and hard at the same time. Why does this project exist? Why on earth put one researcher on studying local participatory innovation practices? Why?
Answering this question on project relevance I will use the words of Helga Nowotny, Peter Scott and Michael Gibbons:
Reliable knowledge can become socially robust only if society perceives the process of knowledge production to be participative. This, in turn, depends upon a reciprocity in which the public understands how science works, but, equally, science understands how the public works. This enhanced mutual understanding needs to be guided by a vision, supported by appropriate images as well as transparency about how they have generated and by whom.