Framework for Responsible Innovation

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EPSRC is committed to develop and promote Responsible Innovation. This site reaffirms our own commitment and sets out our expectations for the researchers we fund and their research organisations.


Responsible Innovation is a process that seeks to promote creativity and opportunities for science and innovation that are socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest. Responsible Innovation acknowledges, that innovation can raise questions and dilemmas, is often ambiguous in terms of purposes and motivations and unpredictable in terms of impacts, beneficial or otherwise. Responsible Innovation creates spaces and processes to explore these aspects of innovation in an open, inclusive and timely way. This is a collective responsibility, where funders, researchers, stakeholders and the public all have an important role to play. It includes, but goes beyond, considerations of risk and regulation, important though these are.

As a public funder of research, we have a responsibility to ensure that our activities and the research we fund, are aligned with the principles of Responsible Innovation, creating value for society in an ethical and responsible way. EPSRC does not wish to be prescriptive about how Responsible Innovation is embedded in the research and innovation process. We recognise that some researchers are already well engaged with this agenda. We also recognise that different approaches might be required for different research areas. There may be instances where detailed consideration is premature or even unwarranted. In other areas of research, a responsible innovation approach may be highly recommended, or even required. As such we recommend that all researchers demonstrate awareness of and commitment to, the principles of Responsible Innovation. Taking an approach that encompasses the following steps, should provide a flexible framework for researchers to use.