Anna Ciechomska, Tampere University, anna.ciechomska (at)



The Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach is a relatively new field of research, gaining more attention along with increase of the implementation of RRI in practice. The approach is included in the European Framework Programs and is developed as an approach to governing research and innovation at the EU level. It is an objective of the Europe 2020 strategy to create smart growth and is reflected in the Horizon 2020 program, which defines tackling societal challenges as one of its’ main priorities. The commitment of the European Commission for promoting this approach resulted even in the inclusion of calls for projects of research and coordination under this topic in Horizon 2020 in Part V “Science with and for Society Work Programmes”.

The proposed thematic session aims to contribute to ongoing conceptual debate on RRI especially, and pressure to implement the responsibility in research and innovation more generally, by exploring the state of knowledge about different aspects of RRI related to S&T, and current practices of implementation of the RRI framework in S&T context. In a public discourse, innovations are no longer perceived solely in terms of technological development and economic growth. Increasingly, broader economic, social, cultural, environmental and political impacts are taken into consideration. The RRI approach focuses on effects and implications of innovations in this broader sense, which might be otherwise unforeseen during the process of working on the development of improved products, processes, services etc. While RRI has its forerunners, e.g. in technology assessment practices, RRI extends the idea of ethical behavior and responsibility from the research process to societal impacts and consequences of innovation.

The session welcomes contributions investigating innovations and S&T sector in the context of responsibility from the perspective of various S&T stakeholders: industry, national and regional policymakers, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, civil society etc.