Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an approach that seeks to promote creativity and opportunities for science and innovation that are socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest. The consideration of RRI often raises questions and dilemmas, is sometimes ambiguous in terms of purposes and motivations, and unpredictable in terms of impacts, beneficial or otherwise.
As a public funder of research, EPSRC has a responsibility to ensure that our activities and the research we fund are aligned with the principles of RRI, creating value for society in an ethical and responsible way. To that end, EPSRC have created a Framework to support a Responsible Innovation approach in the research that we fund.
The ICT Theme has recently provided funding to create a new organisation to deliver Responsible Research and Innovation services. This new entity will be called ORBIT, is hosted by De Montfort and Oxford Universities, and will provide information and services to the ICT research and development communities to support them in undertaking their work responsibly. It will be a community resource allowing the exchange of information, networking and reflection on ICT research.
Examples of the type of services provided by ORBIT are an open access online journal, a self-assessment tool for RRI in ICT, case studies and training courses for academic (including Doctoral training) and commercial (SMEs, multinationals) audiences.