Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RRI-Practice Report Summary

Project ID: 709637
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.c.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RRI-Practice (Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) has emerged in recent years, especially in Europe, as a science policy framework that seeks to achieve a) engaged publics and responsible actors in the science and innovation field; and b) ethically acceptable, sustainable and socially desirable research and innovation outcomes that are aligned with societal needs and challenges.

In this project we seek to i) harvest experiences on how research conducting and research funding/policy organisations work to strengthen RRI related values, ii) support the systematic development of such work in these organisations, and iii) generate scalable knowledge about effective practices for the wider implementation of RRI.

RRI-Practice takes as its starting point that policies on socially responsible research practices cannot be implemented simply in a top down fashion. In order for organisations (universities, research institutes, funding organisations, etc.) to have ownership of any RRI concept, they need to be able to relate it to their own mandates, cultures and worldviews. We therefore use perspectives from organisational theory to clarify the challenges and identify the conditions for RRI to be successful.

Ultimately, the RRI-Practice project will identify, disseminate and promote RRI implementation best practices that can be scaled up at European and global levels. We will develop a roadmap for strengthening RRI in the EU and internationally, as well as a Handbook for organizational RRI work.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed since September 2016

National mapping and workshops
As organisations work in a context of national policies and institutions, we started the project with a mapping of this context (document studies and interviews). Moreover, in order to contribute to national learning processes regarding RRI, national workshops were conducted in which key national stakeholders presented their organisations’ understanding of responsibility in research and innovation, and practical examples of such work. The RRI concept as well as barriers and drivers to RRI were discussed, and best practices were identified. For more information, see the project’s website.

Organisational work
In the first half of the project, we succeeded in engaging 23 important research funding, policy and conducting organisations across the globe in a process entailing the review of RRI related aspects and the development of outlooks for further RRI work. The work will continue until July 2018, but we already see important effects in the organisations. Overall, all the organisations have been enthusiastic and supportive of the work in the project. Upcoming focus groups will be important in finalising the reviews and outlooks, and for anchoring the work in the organisations.
The organisations’ commitment to the project was also demonstrated at the two parallel international workshops organised in Berlin in September 2017. Participants from partner organisations from across the world came to Berlin to share their experience with RRI related work and to be inspired by each other (reported in the public deliverable D16.1).

Communication and dissemination
Apart from the national workshops described above, consortium members have engaged in 15 conference presentations, 23 workshop presentations and presentations at 13 other events, and have published 9 publications (some in press). In the reporting period we have engaged with EC projects, such as the RRI Tools project, the Nucleus project, the CASI project and Engage2020. Furthermore, we have engaged with a number of RRI related projects at national levels. In addition to these activities, we have distributed a newsletter to more than 4 500 relevant recipients, and project members have been active on social media, blogs, media activities, etc.

We are still in the process of conducting the organisational reviews and outlooks, so the main results so far relate to the national workshops. Please see the website for more information on main learning points.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state-of-the-art

The project:
• makes the RRI concept more concrete by investigating the ways in which both the five RRI policy keys (ethics, gender, open access, public engagement and science education) and broader understandings of ‘responsibility’ and RRI are taken up and enacted within current organisational practices and cultures. Comparative analysis will facilitate the scaling up of specific findings to general recommendations for broader implementation.
• contributes to the implementation of RRI in practice by analysing barriers to and drivers for successful implementation of RRI and, on this basis, developing future and action oriented plans or ‘Outlooks’ (including indicators) to further strengthen RRI work in these organisations.
• uses its European and global reach to mainstream RRI in research and policy and promotes best practices for research organisations in different national contexts.

Expected results until the end of the project
- 23 confidential reports to the organisations, for their internal development work
- 12 national case study deliverables
- A report of the internal RRI review of the project
- A revised indicator report
- A Handbook for organisational RRI work
- A Roadmap for the European Commission
- A final conference
- Novel practices in the participating organisations
- Increased awareness of RRI in the participating organisations and countries
- Spin-off activities at national level

Potential impacts
The project aims to have impacts in the short, medium and long term related to different target groups. So far, we have already had preliminary impact on the following target groups:

The project has already had impact on the included organisations. Draft reviews are being discussed by important stakeholders in the organisations and at higher leadership levels, and outlooks are prepared with the organisations’ support. New initiatives are being launched in the organisations.

Through the project activities, most notably the national RRI workshops, RRI has been put on the agenda among key actors in the national research and innovation systems. In several countries, there have been requests for follow-up workshops and project partners have been invited to give seminars to interested stakeholders in the research and innovation systems.

We have reached research organisations – and the academic community in general – in Europe and beyond. We have, for instance, established close relations with partners in Japan and Russia. We also reach a number of academic audiences through the dissemination activities of the project, and contribute in this way to raising awareness of RRI in the academic community generally.

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