Challenges and opportunities for the implementation of RRI in the EU RDI
Mika Nieminen, VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland; Raúl Tabarés, Tecnalia Research and Innovation, Spain and Erich Griessler, Institute for Advanced Studies, Austria

During the last decade there has been enlarging discussion and project activity on responsibility and ethics of research and innovation especially in the context of EU. This discussion has included also various EU funded practical attempts and projects to support the implementation of RRI in research and innovation. This discussion and project activity was also preceded by various initiatives and approaches like ethical, legal, and social aspects (ELSA) evaluations, and technology assessment (TA).

In this presentation we ask, how well RRI related aspects as defined by European Commission “keys” (public engagement, research ethics, gender equality, science education, open access, governance) and “three Os” (Open access, open science, open to the world) have been understood and integrated so far in in the European Commission’s RDI activity.

Based on the data collected by the EC funded project consortium “NewHoRRIzon” ( during 2017-18 from H2020 programs and on the collectively written “diagnose reports” by consortium researchers (by acknowledging their contribution), we analyze the status of RRI in the EC programs and discuss what kind of policy actions would be needed to further strengthen the position of RRI. The data included in the diagnose reports included wide document analysis of policy, work program, and call documents as well as project level information. In addition, the researchers of the NewHoRRIzon project conducted approximately 150 interviews.

The results indicate that in many cases the concept of RRI is not an an integral part of programs, albeit various components of RRI are integrated and used as targets and guidelines in the programs. The policy implications are discussed.


Ethical design of technology R&D — experiences from H2020 health technology project
Janika Miettinen, Veikko Ikonen and Minna Kulju, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

RRI framework is still lacking concrete and practical approaches in implementing the framework to technology research and development process in a coherent way and guaranteeing the responsibility of both the research activities and outcomes. In this presentation, we will present our experiences of implementing RRI to technology development project through ethical design approach. The presentation will concentrate on H2020 funded SNIFFPHONE and recently launched VOGAS projects that develop new sensor based technology for disease detection. The approach will be further developed in A-patch project, also focusing on disease detection technologies.

Ethical design can be understood as the work done in the design phases to achieve ethically sound technology, product or service, but it can also be seen to include the activities supporting and enabling the ethical design process itself. The ethical design approach of SNIFFPHONE covers the project design, the technology and product design, the concept and service design and the ethical anticipation of wider social and societal effects.

Based on our experience, we strongly emphasize that new health and well-being technologies should be contextualized and designed as a part of the health care system where they will operate. At the core of the ethical design approach are: (1) stakeholder engagement activities that help to understand ethical issues and demands, (2) definition of ethical requirements based on the stakeholder engagement activities and (3) implementation of ethical requirements into the actual technology, product and service design. These stages follow each other’s until the ethical aspects are comprehensively recognized and genuinely implemented to the final technology, product and service design. (Figure 1) Naturally, governance of ethical design (i.e. tools, structure, decision-making) needs to be defined already in the preparation phase of the project.