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 24: Responsible innovation in ICT: challenges for industry

Bernd Carsten Stahl, Elisabetta Borsella, Andrea Porcari and Elvio Mantovani

Abstract

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) can raise specific questions and challenges depending on the field of research or technology in which it is to be implemented. We propose that RRI is best understood as a meta-responsibility that aims to shape and align existing and novel responsibilities in research and innovation. This chapter discusses the particular issues arising from applying RRI to information and communication technology (ICT). We identify five properties of ICT that render predictions and governance difficult: the speed of innovation and diffusion, ubiquity and pervasiveness, the difficult distinction between applied and fundamental research, its logical malleability and the problem of many hands. In order to accommodate these characteristics, we develop a framework for RRI in ICT based on the AREA framework and complement it with 4P: process, product, purpose and people. The chapter discusses the specific challenges that arise when RRI is to be implemented in industry. We report the findings of a Delphi study on RRI in industrial research and development of ICT for ageing. The findings clearly show that there is a place for RRI in industry but that it needs to be related to existing responsibilities in the research and development processes and broader corporate responsibilities. The chapter provides the starting point for practical interventions that allow the co-creation of specific implementation plans of RRI in concrete research and innovation activities.

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