Monday 14

The initiative #RRIinHE has launched a webinar series to foster the integration of RRI perspectives at the different levels of Horizon Europe

Posted by RRI Tools - Eva Zuazua Schücker on 14 Dec 2020

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) refers to an approach rolled out in the EU Framework programmes 7 (FP7) and 8 (Horizon 2020) emphasising the on-going process of aligning research and innovation to societal values, needs and expectations. Funders in countries like the UK, Norway and the Netherlands have similar definitions.

RRI guides researchers and research conducting and funding organisations in anticipating the implications of their work, including relevant stakeholders upstream, and reflecting and responding to those stakeholders’ concerns and expectations. In this way, co-design and co-responsibility for the outcomes research and innovation can be facilitated, increasing societal uptake and acceptability of research and innovation.

Experiences from the concluded and ongoing RRI projects can inform the operationalisation of RRI in Horizon Europe as well as in other funding programmes that support inclusive research and innovation processes aligned with societal needs and values. The last decade of the RRI agenda also provides important resources for operationalizing the Open Science agenda in its broad sense, beyond Open Access and Open Data, and the co-creation and citizen science agendas.

The initiative “RRI in Horizon Europe” [#RRIinHE]

While the future of RRI in Horizon Europe is still rather uncertain, it is not as bleak as it appeared in 2019. Several advocates in the ERA have called for higher visibility of RRI in Horizon Europe. Moreover, the Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan for Horizon Europe keeps the door open for RRI and even indicates a ’home’ for RRI in Horizon Europe (in Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I system). However, there is still a need to continue to reinforce the importance of RRI and to help show how it can be implemented widely in Horizon Europe.

This is why a group of RRI scholars and practitioners have joined forces to launch the initiative "RRI in Horizon Europe" with the aim of supporting the visibility and operationalisation of RRI in Horizon Europe. The core group consists of Ellen-Marie Forsberg, Alexander Gerber & Siri Granum Carson. The initiative has received funding and support from the Research Council of Norway to work for strengthening RRI in Horizon Europe and is collaborating with a number of RRI practitioners and scholars.

In February 2020 the group published a position paper on "Including RRI in the development and implementation of Horizon Europe" which was shared widely among the RRI community and sent to relevant shadow committee representatives for Horizon Europe, as well as other stakeholders interested in supporting the RRI agenda in Horizon Europe. Now they have organized a webinar series on how to include RRI in R&I funding calls and projects.

Webinar Series

Are you a programme officer or a member or a Horizon Mission Board? Are you from an EU National Contact Point or a potential project coordinator? Are you interested in learning more about the status of RRI in Horizon Europe and how to integrate RRI perspectives in programmes or projects?

If the answer is yes, then you might be interested in joining the webinar series launched by the group to mainstream RRI at the different levels of Horizon Europe and the R&I landscape at large

The webinar series serves to share experiences with including RRI perspectives into funding calls, programmes, and projects. For researchers this involves quality criteria for effective integration of RRI perspectives in research and innovation projects. For funders, it involves operationalising RRI as assessment criteria and KPIs in the agenda-setting for the Work Programmes; the definition of calls and guidance for applicants; the review process and grant agreements; monitoring processes and impact evaluation.

Each of the individual webinars is tailored to the research fields addressed. Two events have been held until now, the first took place in June 2020 and was devoted to ”RRI in the Blue Bioeconomy”, and the second on “RRI in materials research and the circular economy” held in November 2020. The next webinar is taking place on Wednesday 16th December 2020 and will focus on “Responsible Innovation & Artificial Intelligence"

Taking responsibility for Responsible Artificial Intelligence - Webinar on Wed 16 Dec 2020 (14.30 – 16.30 CET)

A panel of  key actors in the field of ethics and AI will discuss responsible innovation, development and use of AI in Europe and internationally:  Max Erik Tegmark (MIT), Virginia Dignum (Uni. Umeå), Luc Steels (ICREA), Cecilie Mathiesen (Research Council of Norway) and Walter van de Velde (European Innovation Council). Read more and register here

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