Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become an increasingly important phrase within policy narratives, in particular in Europe, where it will be a cross-cutting issue under the prospective EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”. In EU member states, there are also various initiatives supporting RRI, notably under schemes of national research councils (e.g. the United Kingdom, Norway, and the Netherlands). However, there is no agreed definition of the concept, and approaches how it should be implemented may vary.
This chapter outlines a vision behind Responsible Research and Innovation, taking a largely European policy perspective, provides a definition of the concept and proposes a broad framework for its implementation under Research and Innovation schemes around the world. RRI should be understood as a strategy of stakeholders to become mutual responsive to each other and anticipate research and innovation outcomes underpinning the “grand challenges” of our time for which they share responsibility.
Research and Innovation processes need to become more responsive and adaptive to these grand challenges. This implies, among other, the introduction of broader foresight and impact assessments for new technologies beyond their anticipated market-benefits and risks. Finally it is provided a responsible research and innovation matrix consisting of lead-questions to be addressed by stakeholders in order to satisfy responsible research and innovation requirements.