International Handbook on Responsible Innovation

AVAILABLE NOW: July 2019: International Handbook on Responsible Innovation
A Global Resource – Also be available as E book through Google Play (35 euro) and can be found here

The introduction to the handbook is in open access and can be downloaded at the publishers website :

Edited by René von Schomberg, Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Belgium and Guest Professor ,Technical University Darmstadt, Germany and Jonathan Hankins, The Bassetti Foundation, Italy

The Handbook constitutes a global resource for the fast growing interdisciplinary research and policy communities addressing the challenge of driving innovation towards socially desirable outcomes. This book brings together well-known authors from the US, Europe, Asia and South-Africa who develop conceptual and regional perspectives on responsible innovation as well as exploring the prospects for further implementation of responsible innovation in emerging technological practices ranging from agriculture and medicine, to nanotechnology and robotics. The emphasis is on the socio-economic and normative dimensions of innovation including issues of social risk and sustainability.

Critical Acclaim

‘After 75 years of unprecedentedly promiscuous commitment to untethered scientific and technological advance by the state and industry alike, humanity stands on the threshold of advances in human germline engineering, geoengineering of the Earth’s climate, quantum computing, and applications of artificial intelligence that will accelerate our technological capabilities well beyond any capacity to steer them toward greater human benefit and away from greater harm. Racing against this momentum and the trillions of dollars that support it have been a relatively small international community of visionary scholars and practitioners who cumulatively have developed the principles, concepts and tools for assuring the wise and socially accountable governance of technology: responsible innovation. These ideas are neither radical nor utopian; indeed, they are practicable and increasingly well-tested. The International Handbook of Responsible Innovation is thus a guidebook for a shift in stance toward collective accountability for the products and consequences of our own ingenuity.’
– Daniel Sarewitz, Arizona State University, US

‘Beyond its breadth and depth, what is most striking about this volume is how well it navigates between the theoretical and practical dimensions of responsible research and innovation (RRI). The volume thus mirrors RRI’s development as simultaneously a subject of ongoing research and a matter of active policymaking, both focused on the governance of science and technology. How should policymakers address the dual demand that the pace of innovation increase to enhance societal benefits, while also advancing deliberately to avoid harming society? This volume provides the latest answers from top RRI researchers and policymakers from around the world. Ranging over the history and theory of RRI, addressing ethics and RRI, detailing the economics underlying RRI, outlining current RRI policies, and looking to the future of RRI, this work will become a classic reference point in the field.’
– J. Britt Holbrook, New Jersey Institute of Technology, US

‘Already impressive in terms of its thematic scope, the diversity of approaches and its global aspiration, this landmark volume is, above all, testament to the coming of age of responsible innovation (RI) as a concept of practical relevance. It contains, amongst other things, illuminating discussions of the notion of responsibility, thought-provoking essays on key questions in RI, and insightful analyses of RI practices in a wide variety of contexts. The messages in bottles, released by the likes of Hans Jonas, John Ziman and the pioneers of the RI community, have obviously been found by many, and probably by many more than the pioneers themselves would have expected. Taken together, the contributions to this collection not only provide a perfect overview on the theory and practices of RI. They also show why RI is not a specialist or merely academic topic but relevant to anyone who cares about the future of our global society.’
– Christopher Coenen, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Germany


  1. Introduction
    René von Schomberg and Jonathan Hankins
  2. Why Responsible Innovation?
    René von Schomberg


Responsibility and Ethics

  1. Responsible Innovation: Process and Politics
    Richard Owen and Mario Pansera
  2. Choosing Freedom: Ethical Governance for Responsible Research and Innovation
    Robert Gianni
  3. Towards an Ethics-of-Ethics for Responsible Innovation
    Vural Özdemir
  4. Working Responsibly Across Boundaries? Some Practical and Theoretical Lessons
    Kjetil Rommetveit, Niels van Dijk, Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir, Kate O’Riordan, Serge Gutwirth, Roger Strand and Brian Wynne


  1. Understanding the Movement(s) for Responsible Innovation
    Miles Brundage and David H. Guston
  2. Is Innovation Always Good for You? New Policy Challenges for Research and Innovation
    Luc Soete
  3. First Steps in Understanding the Economic Principles of Responsible Research and Innovation
    Miklós Lukovics, Benedek Nagy and Norbert Buzás
  4. Responsible Innovation in the Broader Innovation System. Reflections on Responsibility in Standardization, Assessment and Patenting Practices.
    Ellen-Marie Forsberg
  5. Dynamics of Responsible Innovation Constitution in European Union Research Policy: Tensions, Possibilities and Constraints.
    Hannot Rodriguez, Andoni Eizagirre and Andoni Ibarra
  6. The Ties that Bind- Collective Experimentation and Participatory Design as Paradigms for Responsible Innovation
    Alfred Nordmann
  7. Enhancing Micro-foundations of Responsible Innovation: Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities with Research and Innovation Practices
    Erik Fisher
  8. Responsible Innovation and Technology Assessment in Europe- Barriers and Opportunities for Establishing Structures and Principles of Democratic Science and Technology Policy
    Leonard Hennen and Linda Nierling

Responsible Innovation in Organisations

  1. To what Extent Should the Perspective of Responsible Innovation Irrigate the Organization as a Whole?
    Xavier Pavie
  2. From Participation to interruption: Toward an Ethics of Stakeholder Engagement, Participation and Partnership in Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Innovation
    Vincent Blok


  1. Shared Space and Slow Science in Geoengineering Research
    Jack Stilgoe
  2. Responsible Innovation and Healthy Ageing
    Ellen H.M. Moors
  3. Responsible Innovation and Agricultural Sustainability: Lessons from Genetically Modified Crops
    Phil Macnaghten
  4. Responsible Inclusive Innovation – Tackling Grand Challenges Globally
    Doris Schroeder and David Kaplan


  1. Embedding Responsible Innovation in Emerging Technological Practices
    Armin Grunwald
  2. From Technology Assessment to Responsible Research and Innovation in Synthetic Biology
    Dirk Stemerding
  3. Responsible Innovation and Public Engagement: What we can Learn from the Case of Nanotechnology
    Richard A.L. Jones
  4. Responsible Innovation in ICT: Challenges for Industry
    Bernd Carsten Stahl, Elisabetta Borsella, Andrea Porcari and Elvio Mantovani
  5. Ethics Management and Responsible Research and Innovation in the Human Brain Project
    Stephen Rainey, Bernd Stahl, Mark Shaw and Michael Reinsborough
  6. Grass-roots Case Studies in ‘Poiesis Intensive’ Responsible Innovation (PIRI)
    Jonathan Hankins
  7. Robotics and Responsible Research and Innovation
    Pericle Salvini, Erica Palmerini, and Bert-Jaap Koops


  1. Chinese Perspectives on Responsible Innovation
    Zhao, Yandong and Liao Miao
  2. Responsible Innovation: Constructing a Seaport in China
    Wang Qian and Yan Ping
  3. Indian Perspectives on Responsible Innovation and Frugal Innovation
    Krishna Ravi Srinivas and Poonam Pandey
  4. South-East European Perspectives
    Norbert Buzás and Miklós Lukovics
  5. Responsible Innovation in a Culture of Entrepreneurship – a US Perspective
    Andrew D. Maynard and Elizabeth Garbee
  6. Public Engagement as a Potential Responsible Research and Innovation Tool for Ensuring Inclusive Governance of Biotechnology Innovation in Low and Middle Income Countries
    Pamela Andanda


  1. Interview with Piero Bassetti, President of Fondazione Giannino Bassetti
    Sally Randles
  2. Interview with Robert Madelin, Ex -Director General and Advisor on Innovation (European Commission)
    Jan Staman and René von Schomberg
  3. Interview with Rob van Leen, Chief Innovation Officer, Head of DSM Innovation Center and Member of the Executive Committee of DSM
    Jan Staman



Friedrichs, S. International Handbook on Responsible Innovation — a Global Resource. Nanoethics (2021).

de Saille, S. Looking Back at Ten Years of RRI: Review of R. von Schomberg and J. Hankins (eds): International Handbook on Responsible Innovation: A Global Resource. Sci Eng Ethics 27, 38 (2021).

Mobhe Bokoko Dave, “Responsible Innovation and Social Innovation. René von Schomberg, Jonathan Hankins (2019), International Handbook on Responsible Innovation: A Global Resource, Cheltenham, Northampton, Mass, Edward Elgar, 556 p. Danielle Logue (2019), Theories of Social Innovation, Cheltenham, Northampton, Mass, Edward Elgar, 179 p.”, Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 2020/2 (No 32), p. 229-234. DOI: 10.3917/jie.032.0229. URL:

Robert Frodeman (2019) International handbook on responsible innovation. A global resource, Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6:2, 255-257, DOI: 10.1080/23299460.2019.1613612