Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice

Last modified: October 4, 2018

RRI-Practice is a 3-year project under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. It aims to understand the barriers and drivers to the successful implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), both in European and global contexts, to stimulate reflection on RRI, and to identify and support best practices of RRI in research organizations and programs. RRI is a multifaceted framework for research and innovation policy, which encompasses societal engagement, research integrity, gender equality and diversity, open science, and science education.

Case studies and policy briefs now available

For RRI-Practice, reviews have been made of research and innovation policies and organizations in 12 countries across the globe, including the Netherlands. The Dutch case study describes RRI-related initiatives and developments in the national research and innovation policy context. Furthermore, it contains reviews of three organizations: the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Wageningen University and Research, and the Radboud University Nijmegen. The national reports, as well as the national policy briefs that summarize their main findings and recommendations, can be found here.

Challenges for responsible research in the Netherlands

The national RRI case study of the Netherlands shows that many aspects of RRI are already well-embedded in research and innovation policies, or are high on policy agendas. This for instance counts for societal engagement, open science, gender equality, and research integrity. At the same time, the organizational reviews indicate that some barriers impede the further implementation of RRI. These include: resistance to open access, gender bias, and the strong influence of quantitative and productivity-oriented criteria in the assessment of researchers and research groups. Our main recommendations on how to deal with these barriers are:

  1. Further stimulating reflection and dialogue, for instance on how societal contributions and implications can be better incorporated in how science is valued, and how values such as openness, inclusion, and integrity can be further internalized in research and innovation.
  2. Further developing and implementing indicators and assessment criteria for researchers and research groups, in which RRI-related aspects and competences, for instance with respect to societal engagement, open science, and science education, are emphasized.

by dr. Franke van der Molen

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