Skip to main content


Table 1 A summary of responsible research and innovation (RRI) according to the literature

From: Introducing responsible innovation in health: a policy-oriented framework

What RRI is - A process [10, 14,15,16,17]
- An approach [13, 67]
- An endeavour [68]
- A meta-responsibility [69]
- An ideal and a project [19]
Who should be involved - Societal actors and innovators [14, 15, 70]
- Scientists, innovators, business partners, research funders and policy-makers [68]
- All stakeholders involved in research and innovation (R&I) practice [17, 67]
- Funders, researchers, stakeholders and the public [71]
- Large community of people [19]
- All parties [12]
When - Early stage of R&I processes [12, 13]
- Any stage of R&I processes [67]
- R&I processes as a whole [70]
- Throughout the entire innovation’s lifecycle [10]
To do what - Anticipate risks and benefits, reflect on prevailing conceptions, values and beliefs, engage stakeholders and members of the wider public, and respond to stakeholders, public values and changing circumstances [18]
- Describe and analyse potential impacts; reflect on underlying purposes, motivations, what is known and not known, uncertainties, risks, assumptions, questions and dilemmas; open these reflections to broad collective deliberations and use this collective process of reflexivity to set the direction and influence subsequent trajectory and pace of innovation [9]
- Shape, maintain, develop, coordinate, and align existing and novel R&I-related processes, actors and responsibilities [69]
- Monitor social, economic and environmental performance impacts and anticipate corrective actions [10]
- Integrate measures throughout the innovation process [10]
- Assess the qualities of the innovation process [72]
- Anticipate and discern how R&I can or may benefit society [12]
- Anticipate and assess potential implications and societal expectations with regard to R&I [13]
In what ways - Working together [70]
- Becoming mutually responsive to each other [14, 15, 17]
- Open, inclusive and in a timely fashion [71]
To what ends - Allow a proper embedding of scientific and technological advances in society [14, 15]
- Better align processes and outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society [70]
- Take care of the future [18]
- Ensure desirable and acceptable research outcomes [69]
- Solve a set of moral problems [16]
- Create a society in which R&I practices strive towards sustainability, ethically acceptable and socially desirable outcomes [17]
- Protect the environment and consider impacts on social and economic dimensions [10]
- Take potential impacts on environment and society into account [13]
- Promote creativity and opportunities for science and innovation that are socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest [71]