Vision, concept & objectives
FoTRRIS aims to foster a transition of the existing Research & Innovation (R&I) system to a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) system. We estimate that the current R&I system is not as responsible as it should be. Indeed, the sustainability performance of our knowledge economy leaves much to be desired and this, despite that knowledge economies dispose of huge amounts of scientific knowledge and technical know-how.
Unleashing the potential of knowledge to benefit all appears therefore crucial. However, the current R&I system relies on a top-down approach, received views and unfounded beliefs of the role of science and technology in economies and societies that do not allow to deliver the full potential of knowledge.
The Responsible Research and Innovation concept has been designed so as to overcome the flaws of the R&I system. René von Schomberg defines RRI as ‘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 (in order to allow a proper embedding of scientific and technological advances in our society)’.
Implementing RRI is, however, not an easy process. Researchers are hardly in the position to adopt RRI methodologies, even if they wish so, due to structural and cultural barriers that work against RRI.
This is where the FoTRRIS concept comes.
 von Schomberg in Responsible Innovation (2013)
Our concept and objectives
While we agree with René Von Schomberg’s definition of RRI, we also deem necessary for the process to be as collaborative as possible. Indeed, including diverse visions and cultures enable to harvest the greatest amount of solutions to a given problem. That is why we have added the prefix ‘co’ to the RRI concept. In addition, as societal challenges are global but manifest themselves in ways that are influenced by local conditions, FoTRRIS focuses on solving ‘glocal’ challenges. In other words, we are seeking to solve local phenomenons of these global challenges at local level.
FoTRRIS’s objective is to offer efficient and effective methods for researchers, citizens, businesses and policy-makers to solve ‘glocal’ challenges in a co-RRI way. Our methodology relies on the design of transition arenas associated with a support unit called a competence cell. Transition arenas are groups of people interested in co-solving a glocal challenge. The competence cell will comprise trained researchers in co-RRI methodologies who will share their know-how with transition arena members.
In order to make these transition arenas a reality, the FoTRRIS project will develop further its co-RRI concept, a stage-gate methodology for ensuring a standardised and responsible answer to glocal challenges and its concept of transition arenas and competence cell. An online collaborative platform will be designed so as to allow the transition arenas members to work together, following the stage-gate methodology. Transition experiments will be carried out in 5 countries (Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Spain) to test and validate the FoTRRIS concepts and collaborative tools. Once validated, the Consortium will make sure to disseminate these results as widely as they can, and to ensure full visibility of these results to policy-makers. We also aim to provide policy guidelines to foster the development of transition arenas with the help of public institutions.
Transition arena starter kit
At the end of the project, training and support materials will be made available publicly on the FoTRRIS website so that any individual or group of people can implement a transition arena at their level. The starter kit will comprise detailed explanations on FoTRRIS methodologies, tutorials on how to use the collaborative platform and how to engage with competence cells.
Where we’re at in the project…
Co-RRI concept development
Transition arena & competence cell design
Online collaboration platform development
Validation & outreach workshop
Policy recommendations and guidelines preparation