Responsible Research Innovation

UKRI define responsible innovation as a process that takes the wider impacts of research and innovation into account. It aims to ensure that unintended negative impacts are avoided, that barriers to dissemination, adoption and diffusion of research and innovation are reduced, and that the positive societal and economic benefits of research and innovation are fully realised.

For researchers, responsible innovation is a process that seeks to promote creativity and opportunities for science and innovation that are socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest. Research has the ability to not only produce understanding, knowledge and value, but also unintended:

  • consequences
  • questions
  • ethical dilemmas
  • social transformations

Responsible innovation recognises that research and innovation can highlight questions and quandaries that means that the potential impacts are unpredictable whether they are beneficial or detrimental, some innovation can result in beneficial impacts but which also have a hidden cost that is detrimental.

UKRI is encouraging organisations to ensure that Responsible Innovation is embedded in IAA activities and applicants will now be asked to consider responsible innovation during the development and delivery of IAA projects.

Further Resources

There are a number of resources available for researchers to learn more about responsible research innovation.

EPSRC Framework for Responsible innovation (AREA Framework), EPSRC is promoting its AREA framework as a tool to provide researchers with a mechanism for how they can undertake a responsible innovation assessment

UKRI Responsible Innovation Resources

RRI Tools is a European project which has produced a useful responsible innovation toolkit including a document "A practical guide to Responsible Research and Innovation".

The University of Glasgow also has an excellent toolkit