Responsible Research & Innovation

New technologies and innovations have brought new developments to the world and have sometimes also led to discussion and social dilemmas. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can be described as an approach that anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation.

The objective of this approach is to reinforce and sustain the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation.

RRI implies that societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organizations, etc.) work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society.

RRI is an umbrella concept that links the different facets of the relationship between research and innovation and society.

In practice, RRI consists of designing and implementing R&I policy that will:

  • engage society more broadly in its research and innovation activities;
  • increase access to scientific results;
  • ensure gender equality, in both the research process and research content;
  • take into account the ethical dimension;
  • promote formal and informal science education.

RRI is an important cross-cutting theme in Horizon 2020, the EU Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

Source: European Commission

RRI Toolkit

The EC-funded ‘RRI Tools’ project has collected and developed online resources – the ‘RRI Toolkit’ – allowing closer interactions of the actors of research and innovation systems and to advocate, train, disseminate and implement the RRI concept under Horizon 2020.

The Toolkit addresses topics such as open access, gender in science, ethics, science education, governance, public engagement. It is designed for individuals as well as institutions involved in research, policy-making, business, education, or civil society organizations.

At the moment the ‘RRI Toolkit’ contains more than 350 tools that will help to design and bring projects to life and to train on RRI. These resources include: best practices, participatory techniques, manuals and guidelines, self-assessment tools and training resources.

See also:

RRI Tools Project

‘RRI Tools’ is a project funded for three years (2014-2016) by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

This ‘RRI Tools’ project has two aims:

  1. to define RRI and to develop a set of tools (collected in a Toolkit) to guide the implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe, and:
  2. to disseminate the Toolkit, by training relevant actors in the implementation of RRI.

‘RRI Tools’ will be carried out by a multidisciplinary consortium consisting of 26 institutions, extending across 30 countries in the European Research Area. To read more about the consortium, click here.

The project, launched in 2014, has three phases and is based on a permanent dialogue with all the stakeholders. The project is now in phase 3.

Phase 1 focused on the definition of RRI and the identification of a series of good practices. Phase 2 focused on the definition of the Toolkit to support the implementation of RRI within the European context. The aim of Phase 3 is now to train stakeholders in the main principles of RRI.