Reformational Philosophy

Responsible innovation in practice – concepts and tools

In the upcoming HORIZON 2020 research programme of the European Union, Responsible Research & Innovation is expected to be an integral requirement for all funded projects. However, there are as yet few working instruments available for putting Responsible Innovation into practice. After a brief review of scholarly and policy debates related to responsible Science, Technology and Innovation, the article will analyse recent projects where the concept Responsible Innovation and tools for its implementation have been developed. In particular, results of Dutch projects on dual use biosecurity and EU funded projects ObservatoryNano, NanoCode and EthicSchool will be discussed.


1. Introduction

Responsible Innovation is the talk of the town, but there is no consensus on what it means and how to implement it in practice (see Hellström 2003, van den Hoven et al. 2012, Owen et al. forthcoming, Owen, MacNaghten and Stilgoe 2012). For some it extends the scope of Corporate Social Responsibility to the development of new technologies and products. In that sense, experience with instruments for responsible care including accountability for the value chain, occupational health and safety, sustainability and stakeholder dialogue could be useful for responsible innovation as well. For others, it extends the scope of responsible science and technology to innovation. In the upcoming EU HORIZON 2020 programme, Responsible Research & Innovation is expected to be an integral requirement for all EU funded projects.


Read the whole article in our magazine Philosophia Reformata, 2013/1


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