International Handbook on Responsible Innovation
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International Handbook on Responsible Innovation

A Global Resource

Edited by René von Schomberg and Jonathan Hankins

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 and Asia 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.
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Chapter 11: Dynamics of responsible innovation constitution in European Union research policy: tensions, possibilities and constraints

Hannot Rodríguez, Andoni Eizagirre and Andoni Ibarra


Over the past three decades, research policy in the European Union (EU) has increasingly taken on board criteria of responsibility, while actively promoting research and development (R & D) activities. However, these initiatives need to be analysed in light of the way they coalesce with the prescriptive impulse of innovation, primarily conceived as a socio-economically strategic construct. The evolution and scope of responsible innovation policies may be interpreted as attempts to manage the relationships, or trade-offs, between dynamics that are more committed to economic competitiveness and those that appeal for greater openness in innovation processes. This enables us to conceive science and its relationships with society in terms of contingency, as posited in its most radical version by the responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach. However, the fact that some relationships are more resistant to change is also clear, which is expressed and justified according to an interpretation that seeks to fix boundaries for the relationships between science and society. This basic tension, and the open-and-shut dynamics associated with it, need to be addressed through an analysis of the principles, assumptions, objectives and resistances that shape the content, evolution and scope of responsible science and technology policies in Europe.

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