Why Responsible Innovation?

This video has been recorded for the MOOC ‘Responsible Innovators of Tomorrow’ provided by the University Alliance ENHANCE. More info on the MOOC, see www.hub.rwth-aachen.de.

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New Ethos of Science or Institutional Reform of Science?

The Prospects of Institutionalising the Research Values  Openness, Collaboration and Responsiveness

In the course of a lectures series of the International Centre for Advanced Studies, Cultures of Research, Kaete Hamburger Kolleg, RWTH Aachen University,

an open Public lecture by Rene von Schomberg  will be given on:

New Ethos of Science or Institutional Reform of Science?

The prospects of institutionalising the research values  Openness, Collaboration and Responsiveness

30 November 2022, 5pm

The lecture will be online, limited physical presence possible

Please register for attending either online, or physical

At: Events@khk.rwth-aachen.de

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Outcomes Workshop on Open Science, Responsible Innovation and Anticipatory Governance ( 29/30 June 2022) Event at Kate Hamburger Kolleg, Cultures of Research-RWTH Aachen University (Germany)

Please find attached an open accessible link where you can download updated PPT presentations, and locate some literature to which participants referred to during the workshop (see for workshop overview, and participants, post further below)

Andoni Ibarra and myself worked on an overall document which gives an conceptual overview and introduction to the topics of Responsible Innovation, Open Science and Anticipatory Governance in their interrelationship. Thie document can also be downloaded at the same link.

Here’s the link: https://rwth-aachen.sciebo.de/s/K8DABYiZhxzFWWr

Jonny Hankins (Bassetti Foundation) did make a nice overview of the discussion of the worksho[, which is hosted at the Bassetti Foundation’s website: https://www.fondazionebassetti.org/en/focus/2022/07/open_scholarship_responsible_i.html

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Open Scholarship, Responsible Research and Innovation and Anticipatory Governance: Event at Kate Hamburger Kolleg, Cultures of Research-RWTH Aachen University (Germany)

Registration for Online participation: events@khk.rwth-aachen.de

Workshop Open Scholarship, Responsible Innovation and Anticipatory Governance

29 June and 30 June 2020 Käte Hamburger Kolleg (KHK), Cultures of Research, RWTH Aachen University

10: 00 -10.15 hrs :      Welcome addres Andoni Ibarra, René von Schomberg, Stefan Böschen.(KHK)

10.15- 10.30 :              Intro to the first day: René von Schomberg

10: 30- 11.15               Opening up science: a means for responsibility?

Clare Shelley-Egan, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

11.15- 11. 30               Discussion

11.30 – 12.15             Missions? Quite Possibly! The legacies of rri and RRI in tackling global and local societal challenges

Douglas Robinson (Université Gustave Eiffel, France and CNRS)

12.15- 12.30                 Discussion

12.30- 14 hrs Lunch

14.00 -14. 45               Interpretive multiplicity in Anticipatory Governance.  Evidence from 12 countries

Mario Pansera (Universidade de Vigo)

14.45- 15: 00               Discussion

15.00- 15.45               Quadruple Helix Collaborations, the ethics of stakeholder engagement, and the future of responsible innovation

Vincent Blok (Wageningen University)

15.45- 16.00                Discussion

16.15 -17: 00                Roundtable Discussion: lead question

17: 00 -19.00  Key NoteTransition to Open Science, Why and How

Frank Miedema (Vice Rector for Research at Utrecht University and chair of the Utrecht University Open Science Programme)

Second day (30 June): Anticipatory Governance

10: 00- 10: 15 Andoni Ibarra: Introduction to the second day

10.15- 11.00    The missing component of anticipatory governance

Roberto Poli (University of Trento)

11.00- 11.15    Discussion11.15- 12.00   Framing RRI in health research domain: the case of MULTI-ACT participatory and anticipatory governance model

Paola Zaratin (Director of Scientific Research, Italian MS Society – Italian MS Foundation, Genoa, Italy)

12.15-12.30 Discussion

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00- 14.45   Foresight on additive manufacturing in order to support RRI

Marianne Hoerlesberger, Austrian Institute of Technology

14.45- 15.00 Discussion

15.00- 16.00 hrs :        Round Table on Lead questions

16.00-16.05 hrs:          Closing of the Workshop.

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Raising the Sail of Innovation. Philosophical Explorations on Responsible Innovation

The reality of today’s global challenges has paved the way for Responsible Innovation (RI), which aims to steer innovation processes towards societally desirable outcomes. Under the sway of ‘science with and for society’, the hypothesis is that innovation can only really respond to the needs and ambitions of society by including all its actors in the process.  However, frameworks and policies of RI mainly focus on regulating innovation processes (e.g. through applying ethical keys and integrating normative dimensions), while little thought is dedicated to what innovation itself means conceptually.

To this end, the contribution of this dissertation is twofold. First, through an extensive analysis of both the policy and academic discourse on RI, it exposes a techno-economic concept of innovation. Parallel to Martin Heidegger’s idea of ‘Enframing’, it argues that in the attempt to regulate a techno-economic concept of innovation, the RI discourse remains subject to its overall dominance. Second, it articulates a shift towards a political concept of innovation which genuinely serves the public good beyond mainstream economic incentive. Inspired by the philosophy of Hannah Arendt, it proposes a vision of RI which actualizes the human capacity for speech and action, inspires radical novelty, and empowers the public sphere.

As such, this book politicizes the RI discourse precisely in the way it was originally envisioned, that is, through conceptualizing innovation as a fundamentally political matter. In this view, politics is not merely an extension of RI but is itself the condition of RI; it is what enables innovation to genuinely serve the public good

PDF free download:


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Rene von Schomberg: Senior Research Fellow, Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research , Aachen University, 1 January 2022.

Announcement: I will leave the European Commission and I will become a Senior Research Fellow at the new Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research which is an international center for advanced studies at the at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. I am looking forward to start on 1 January 2022

I will continue publishing on Responsible Innovation, Open Scholarship and Governance of Science and Tech as well as promote and work on concepts of deliberative democracy with a view on responsible governance of Science, Technology and Innovation. In Aachen, I will do ‘RRI’ research on research values central to research cultures and their implication for responsible governance.

More on the Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research , Aachen University https://www.humtec.rwth-aachen.de/cms/HUMTEC/Das-Projekthaus/~nngmk/Kaete-Hamburger-Kolleg/?lidx=1

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Presentations at Final conferences of the Horizon 2020 funded projects SeeRRI and IAMRRI

I gave rather similar key note presentations at the final conferences of the H2020 funded projects SeeRRI (https://conference.seerri.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Programa-conferencia-SeeRRI-15.09.21-2.pdf) and IAMRRI (https://www.iamrri.eu/iamrri/events/default-title/programm) on respectively 30 and 8 September 2021

The power point presentation can be downloaded here:


I can recommend to take a look at the respective project websites which showcase important advances on implementing RRI in regional planning (SeeRRI) and RRI for additive manufacturing (IAMRRI). In the former conference a range of coordinators of ‘sister’ projects in the field of regional employment of RRI participated, allowing for sensible ‘cross-fertilisation’ (among others Territoria Project, tetRRIS, WBC-RRI.NET, DigiteRRI, Transform etc.) Check them all out! They are all good!

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An unfinished journey? Reflections on a decade of responsible research and innovation

Richard Owen, René von Schomberg and Phil Macnaghten

We reflect on a decade of Responsible Research and Innovation
(RRI) as a discourse emerging from the European Commission
(EC) 10 years ago. We discuss the foundations for RRI, its
emergence during the Seventh Framework programme and its
subsequent evolution during Horizon 2020. We discuss how an
original vision for RRI became framed around five so-called ‘keys’:
gender, open access, science communication, ethics and public
engagement. We consider the prospects for RRI within the
context of the EC’s Open Science agenda and Horizon Europe
programme, before closing with some reflections on the
contribution RRI has made to debates concerning the relationship
between science, innovation and society over the last decade.



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Call for papers “Research Ethics: setting up frameworks to promote good practices

We are launching a new call for papers for the October 2022 (27.2) issue about “Research Ethics: Frameworks for promoting best research practices”.

Edited by Elsa González-Esteban (Universitat Jaume I), René Von Schomberg (European Comission/Technical University of Darmstadt) & Rosana Sanahuja  (Universitat Jaume I). 

Deadline date for proposals: 15 September 2021

Issue publication date: 1 October 2022

Languages: English, Spanish, Valencian.

Submit a manuscript: see instruction at the site of the Journal:


Research practice, as an organised activity that pursues common goals and shares rules, values and processes, is under enormous pressure at the start of the 21st century due to contradictory demands of the research system.

On the one hand, researchers’ careers are determined by the number of publications and where they are published, rather than their contributions to socially relevant research missions. Research productivity is measured in numbers of publications rather than its relevant impact on society. The management of research performing organisations is often motivated by national or international rankings. Economic interests and publishing in high impact journals are drivers of research and are prioritised over establishing responsible research and innovation practices. 

On the other hand, some national and international political initiatives do promote research that addresses societal challenges such as the sustainable development goals. Equally, researchers are expected to meet high ethical standards in their research conduct, which covers aspects such as setting research agendas, publishing practices and outreach activities as well as ensuring the reproducibility of the data on which publications are based. 

Responsible research and innovation practices require multi-stakeholder governance structures, fostering open science and co-creation and co-design of research and innovation agendas aiming at socially desirable outcomes 

This monograph deals with the contradictory demands on the research system. The following themes will be covered:

– Ethics as a driver of responsible research and innovation. 

– The normative guidelines underpinning good open science practices.

– Research for public goods (e.g. vaccines, SDGs etc.).

– Knowledge production as public good vs. the trend to ‘commodify’ knowledge and closed science in the context of industrial research.

– Mechanisms for increasing research productivity in terms of addressing societal challenges rather than number of publications.

– Obstacles and incentives for establishing research ethics.

– Collective and shared responsibility in research processes.

– How to foster open science that is excellent, responsible and credible on the basis of scientific integrity.

– Ethical research and innovation governance. How to identify and implement normative governance structures for open science.

– How to promote principles of scientific integrity in research practices.

– Critical analyses of the current pressures on research systems. 

– The role of society, industry and politics in excellent/responsible research.

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Special Issue “Institutional Change for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)”

Special Issue “Institutional Change for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)”

Guest editors: Dr. Nhien Nguyen & Dr. Dr. phil. René von Schomberg  

Abstract (500 words max) deadline: 31/1/2021

Full paper (7000 words max) submission: 31/3 – 30/7/2021


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