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Ecsite joins Responsible Research and Innovation Tools project

Last week the project RRI Tools has been launched in Brussels, a three year long project funded under the European Commission (EC) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013) to foster Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Europe with a view to a harmonious and efficient relationship between science and European society.

RRI is a process where all societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business) work together during the whole research and innovation (R&I) process in order to align its outcomes to the values, needs and expectations of European society. RRI is encompassing 6 fields relating to R&I: public engagement, formal and informal education to science, gender equality, ethics, the open access to scientific results and R&I governance itself.

RRI will be central within Horizon2020 (2014-2020), the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. As Philippe Galiay from the DG Research of the EC said at the kick off meeting: “The ‘Science with and for society’ part of Horizon 2020 is the natural evolution of the ‘Science in Society’ programme in FP7 whereas RRI is an issue cutting all across Horizon2020”.

The RRI Tools project has a budget of 7 million Euros and counts with the collaboration of 26 institutions reaching 30 countries all over Europe. It will develop an innovative and creative set of tools comprising practical digital resources and actions aimed at raising awareness, training, disseminating and implementing RRI. It will be addressed and designed by all stakeholders of the R&I chain of value but will specially focus on policy makers in order to impact significantly in the future governance of R&I. Tools will be based in collective reflection and built on good RRI existing practices.

RRI Tools is a collaborative and inclusive project, with the aim of increasing creativity and shared ownership of the process. Its ultimate goal is to establish a community of practice that brings together all the people and institutions that are active in this new vision of scientific and social development. “We are sure that RRI Tools will contribute to the Europe2020 strategy by helping transform Research and Innovation in Europe into a process targeted at the grand challenges of our time where deliberation with society should be a must” says Ignasi López from “la Caixa” Foundation (Spain), the project coordinator.

The involvement of the different stakeholders in the process of development and dissemination of the Toolkit will be facilitated by 19 National Hubs, which will promote RRI among the different stakeholders involved at local and national level.

Ecsite will do so in the role of the Workpackage leader on assessing the needs and constraints of RRI stakeholders.