1. What is RRI?
Our society increasingly relies on research and innovation to address the challenges of our time -such as climate change, global health, sustainable development, scarcity of resources, or privacy and security issues-. However, science and technology can create new risks and ethical dilemmas we have not faced before: they sometimes lead to unexpected results, raise controversy, and reinforce inequality. To overcome these issues, the European Commission has pushed forward the concept of “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI), with the aim of fostering research and innovation in an inclusive, societally-oriented way. At RRI Tools, we view Responsible Research and Innovation as an umbrella-term that gathers all R&I actors (research and education communities, policy makers, business and industry, and civil society organisations) and covers three key dimensions:
- Outcomes: research and innovation actors should work together towards ethically acceptable, socially desirable and environmentally sustainable products and services.
- Processes: diversity and inclusion, anticipation and reflection, openness and transparency and responsiveness and adaptive change should be actively sought at all stages of the research and innovation cycle.
- Key policy agendas: topics such as open access, gender equality in science, ethics, science education, governance, and public engagement need to be specifically addressed.
It is still an emerging concept in Europe and in order to implement RRI, concrete tools are needed, and this is where this project steps in.
Find out more about RRI on our dedicated page. Our working definition of RRI is described in more detail in the document Policy brief on the state of art on RRI. For further details on RRI and how to implement it in practice, please also refer to the RRI Tools final booklet 'A practical guide to Responsible Research and Innovation: key lessons from RRI Tools'.