Background and context

Research and innovation have an increasing impact on all levels of European society. The Lund Declaration (2009) states that European research must move beyond the thematic approaches undertaken in previous framework programmes and focus on the so-called “Grand Challenges” of our time.

The same point is stressed in the 2020 Vision for the European Research Area which states that “the European Research Area is firmly rooted in society and should be responsive to its needs and ambitions […]”.  

SiD 4Present and future societal challenges can be tackled effectively only if societal interests and organisations are fully engaged, and as included as possible in research and innovation processes. This means that a continuous interaction and dialogue between academia, innovators and society as well as a shared and well-understood responsibility are central challenges and preconditions for success in terms of the social robustness and mutual trust of the European science and innovation system. 

European research and innovation must be based on the principle of responsibility. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is one of the main focal areas in the current Science in Society programme and an important element in the overall goal of delivering solutions to the grand challenges.  

Several initiatives have been taken to promoSiD 3te pan-European reflection on the notion to support the development of a European model for Responsible Research and Innovation, and introduce the concept in future EC legal and financial structure.  

However, it was clear that the concept needed further elaboration in order to be incorporated in a future European framework as well as in the research discourse and practice. A clear and realistic strategy for developing the notion and implementation of RRI needed to be developed.  

In addition, more discussions and reflections on the topic among stakeholders at a pan-European level were needed, in order to make the concept more integrated in the mindset of the European community.

last modified Aug 10, 2015