Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
The concept of ‘responsible innovation’ has been introduced quite recently in innovation studies. Originating in ethics, science philosophy and policy-making on science and innovation (von Schomberg, 2012; Owen et al., 2012; van den Hoven et al., 2013; Stilgoe et al., 2013) and preceded by attention mainly for responsible entrepreneurship (EC, 2003; Sanford, 2011), the concept of ‘responsible innovation’ is now being elaborated and translated into empirical research. Responsible research and innovation can be described as follows: ‘. . . a transparent, interactive process by which societal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view to the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products’ (von Schomberg, 2012). This definition has an emphasis on the type of application of new products, processes and so on, but also on the processes involved, mainly on the interaction between science and society (see, van den Hoven et al., 2012; Owen et al., 2012; van den Hoven, 2013). Using a normative perspective, new and concrete ideas should be turned into products and services that create jobs and prosperity, but at the same time accommodate moral and public values. Such an approach would enable the avoidance of innovations that turn out to be contested, and to focus on fields concerning societal needs that have not been focused on to date and continue innovations based on societal needs that have already been recognized, such as certain green technologies (van den Hoven et al., 2013).
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