Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

The European Union defines Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) as “an approach that anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation, with the aim to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation” and it is from the HORIZONTE 2020 framework programme onwards that it has achieved its own prominence within the “Science with and for society (SWAFS)” objective. RRI focuses on the need for society’s involvement in scientific and innovation processes from their earliest stages. The European Commission has provided more concrete policy guidance in the form of six political agendas that should promote RRI:

Political agendas:

  • Ethics, which focuses on (1) research integrity: the prevention of unacceptable research practices and research; and (2) science and society: the ethical acceptance of scientific and technological developments.
  • Open Access, which addresses issues of accessibility to and ownership of scientific information. Open and early access to scientific work can improve the quality of scientific research and facilitate rapid innovation, constructive collaborations between collaborators and productive dialogue with civil society.
  • Gender Equality, which consists of promoting gender-balanced teams, ensuring gender equality in decision-making bodies, and always taking into account the gender dimension in research and innovation to improve the quality and social relevance of the results.
  • Citizen participation, to encourage collaborative research and innovation processes and to allow stakeholders to be taken into account. Societal stakeholders work together throughout the process in order to align their results with societal values, needs and expectations.
  • Governance Arrangements, (1) robust and adaptable to the unpredictable development of research and innovation; (2) familiar enough to align with existing practices in research and innovation; (3) that allow for shared responsibility among all stakeholders; and (4) that provide governance instruments to foster this shared responsibility.
  • Science education, to improve the current educational process and better equip citizens with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to participate in research and innovation debates; and to increase the number of researchers, promoting scientific vocations.

Therefore, Open science is a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work (between researchers and/or non-research staff) and new ways of disseminating knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tools (European Commission 2016). It represents a change of attitude, a paradigm shift, in the life cycle of science in order to facilitate the publication and communication of scientific knowledge.

The following are the Responsible Research and Innovation actions that the IdISSC has been developing over the last few years: