The EU finances new project on responsible research and innovation
A new research project funded by the EU aims at promoting Responsible Research and Innovation and open science practices in research institutions within biosciences. The goal is to involve various stakeholders in society in the research so that research and future technologies are in accordance with the values and needs of society.
The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy (CFA) is a partner in a new project that has received a grant from the EU research programme Horizon 2020. At CFA, the project entitled RESponsible research and innovation grounding practices in BIOSciences (RESBIOS) is headed by Evanthia K. Schmidt.
The aim of the project is to raise awareness on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the field of biosciences in Europe.
“The European Commission operates with the RRI concept because the EU calls attention to stronger linkages and increased interaction between research and society. RRI implies that societal actors (researchers, policy makers, citizens, business, etc.) work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society. RRI is implemented as a package that includes multi-actor public engagement in research and innovation, enabling easier access to scientific results, the take up of gender and ethics in the research and innovation content and process, and formal and informal science education. Societal challenges can be addressed in a more sustainable way if all stakeholders are involved in the research and innovation process,” says Evanthia K. Schmidt, associate professor at CFA at the Department of Political Science.
Experienced institutions to support others getting started
11 European countries are involved in the project, which will create a learning environment where research institutions that are experienced in the RRI area act as mentors for research institutions that will start implementing RRI actions.
“The mentor institutions have previously participated in a Horizon 2020 RRI project, and the idea is that they will pass on their experiences to the newcomers,” says Evanthia K. Schmidt.
“It makes good sense to promote RRI within the biosciences as we are dealing with an interdisciplinary field where many stakeholders are involved in the complex process of research production, and where we need to make the results more accessible to society and citizens. RRI can address some of the societal concerns related to research and innovation in the biosciences, and the risks involved in the research production and outcome. In that way, RRI can help us handle the challenges this sector faces and how we balance the pros and cons of innovation and future technologies, creating value for society in an ethical and responsible way,” she says.
The project is funded by the Science with and for Society programme under Horizon 2020 and has a budget of 2.5 million EUR.
Contact the project leader at CFA, Evanthia K. Schmidt