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RITA – Responsible Innovation and Technology Assessment

RITA – Responsible Innovation and Technology Assessment
Project team:

Dewald, Ulrich (Project leader); Karsten Bolz, Stefan Böschen, Torsten Fleischer, Armin Grunwald, Julia Hahn, Reinhard Heil, Jutta Jahnel, Maria João Maia, Stefanie Seitz

Start date:

2015

End date:

2018

Research group:

Innovation processes and impacts of technologies and Knowledge society and knowledge policy

Project description

In recent years, the issue of responsibility in science and innovation processes has gained more and more attention within the scientific and political debate on ethical questions around new and emerging technologies. This has been discussed from different perspectives, from a theoretical viewpoint in science and technology studies or from a policy perspective in the governance of science. TA researchers engage in this debate, especially focusing on the concept of "Responsible Research and Innovation" (RRI). RRI proposes a range of normative criteria to steer innovation processes and develop socially robust products and technologies. Although there is no consensus even on its basic aspects, RRI has already had vast impact regarding its TA-specific, political, and social impact: it serves as a keyword in research programs (Horizon 2020), it has been used to name a new scientific journal (Journal of Responsible Innovation), and has been the principal topic of numerous conferences and workshops. Also a range of projects with the aim of finding ways to implement RRI are already underway.

This is the starting point for the RITA project: We intend to investigate the different understandings, descriptions, and perspectives of responsibility in innovation processes in the current academic and political discourse. What are the conceptual foundations and promises? Where and how do concepts like RRI extend and broaden well-known practices of TA? A specific project on RRI is an active step to contribute to a wider discussion on these issues, which are underrepresented so far. RITA is taking a twofold perspective: First, it brings together discussions which are currently rather fragmented and arranged around different technological fields or methods ("platform to reflect on different activities concerning Responsible Innovation"). Second, the analytical content and thus the scientific scope of the concept are investigated and compared with other established variants of TA ("additional value compared to existing TA practices").

Using matching formats, it is not only aimed to stimulate the discussion among single project teams and research areas in-house, but also to engage with research teams and institutes beyond ITAS.

Aim: The closer examination within the RITA projects aims to capture the emergence, conditions, motivations, and application of this approach and to reflect on the idea of responsibility in research and innovation processes. Furthermore we critically investigate the preconditions while assessing RRI and its relationship to established practices of TA. Moreover, RITA wants to consider the application of Responsible Innovation, e.g. within a company’s business environment. These combined activities serve to add empirical and analytical contributions to the RRI-related aims of the program-oriented research of Helmholtz.

The following topics are of specific interest:

  • Responsible Innovation within different spatial innovation systems
  • Responsible Innovation within a business environment
  • conditions to realize Responsible Innovation in research organizations and in the science system
  • role of participation within innovation processes
  • relation to existing concepts of TA and innovation studies (constructive TA, engineering ethics) and different impact dimensions of Responsible Innovation (as a scientific-political program or a scientific-intellectual movement?)

Realization: The project is designed as a platform project. It is intended to establish linkages to third-party funded projects in the context of RRI. Currently two PhD projects are part of the project.

Publications


2019
Book Chapters
Grunwald, A. (2019). Responsible innovation in emerging technological practices. International Handbook on Responsible Innovation : A Global Resource Hrsg.: R. von Schomberg, 326–338, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. doi:10.4337/9781784718862.00031
2017
Book Chapters
Grunwald, A. (2017). Responsible research and innovation (RRI): Limits to consequentialism and the need for hermeneutic assessment. The Future Infomation Society : Social and Technological Problems. Ed.: W. Hofkirchner, 139–152, World Scientific Publ., New Jersey. 
2016
Presentations
Bolz, K.; Volkmann, C. (2016). The nexus between entrepreneurship and responsible innovation. Uniting two domains. 6th Leuphana Conference on Entrepreneurship (LCE 2016), Lüneburg, January 14-16, 2016. 
Böschen, S. (2016). Theoretizing epistemic regimes - transformative phenomena as reason for transformative theory?. Science and Technology by Other Means : 4S/EASST Conference, Barcelona, E, August 31 - September 3, 2016. 
Böschen, S. (2016). Soziologie der Nachhaltigkeit - Feldtheorie als Theorie der Transformation?. 38.Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Bamberg, 26.-30.September 2016. 
Grunwald, A. (2016). Dimensions of responsibility. Go4 Joint Final Conference: "Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe and across the World - Shaping new Horizons", Brussels, Belgium, January 14, 2016. 
2015
Book Chapters
Bogner, A.; Decker, M.; Sotoudeh, M. (2015). Technikfolgenabschätzung und ’Responsible Innovation’. Konvergente Perspektiven verantwortlicher Forschungs- und Innovationsgestaltung. Responsible Innovation : Neue Impulse für die Technikfolgenabschätzung? Hrsg.: A. Bogner, 11–27, Nomos, Edition Sigma, Baden-Baden. 
Dewald, U. (2015). Grand challenges, bold concepts - Was kann die RRI-Debatte von der Transitions-Forschung lernen?. Responsible Innovation : Neue Impulse für die Technikfolgenabschätzung? Hrsg.: A. Bogner, 113–120, Nomos, Edition Sigma, Baden-Baden. 
Fleischer, T. (2015). Orte verantwortlicher Innovation. Responsible Innovation : Neue Impulse für die Technikfolgenabschätzung? Hrsg.: A. Bogner, 171–181, Nomos, Edition Sigma, Baden-Baden. 
Hennen, L. (2015). “Public Engagement” in Forschungs- und Innovationsprozessen". Responsible Innovation : Neue Impulse für die Technikfolgenabschätzung? Hrsg.: A. Bogner, 91–100, Nomos, Edition Sigma, Baden-Baden. 
Books
Boger, A.; Decker, M.; Sotoudeh, M. (Eds.). (2015). Responsible Innovation : Neue Impulse für die Technikfolgenabschätzung?. Nomos, Edition Sigma, Baden-Baden. 
Presentations
Bolz, K. (2015). Integrating responsible innovation into the entrepreneurial process: outlining a theoretical framework. Responsible Innovation Conference 2015, Den Haag, NL, August 24-25, 2015. 
Böschen, S.; Dewald, U.; Hahn, J. (2015). Responsible research and innovation: technocratic guiding principle or a mean for democratization of innovation?. 1st International Conference on Anticipation, Trento, I, November 5-7, 2015. 
Grunwald, A. (2015). Das RRI-Konzept. Wiederkehr des Planungsoptimismus in neuem Gewand?. Vortr.: Europäische Akademie, Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, 8.Januar 2015. 
Grunwald, A. (2015). Responsible Science - Verantwortung für Zukunftsgestaltung. Kick Off Meeting ’Team Österreich forscht’, Wien, A, 17.Juni 2015. 
Hahn, J. (2015). Between gobal responsibility and local specifics questions of global RRI. S.NET Conference “From Nanotechnologies to emerging technologies: towards a global responsibility” (2015), Montreal, Canada, October 18–21, 2015. 
Jahnel, J. (2015). Governance of nanomaterials as laboratory for RRI. 2nd European TA Conference, Berlin, February 25-27, 2015. 
2014
Book Chapters
Grunwald, A. (2014). Responsible innovation: Neuer Ansatz der Gestaltung von Innovationen oder nur ein Schlagwort?. Wissenschaft - Innovation - Technologie Hrsg.: Banse, G.; Grimmeiss, H., 243–264, trafo, Berlin. 
Grunwald, A. (2014). Responsible research and innovation: An emerging issue in research policy rooted in the debate on nanotechnology. Arnaldi, S. [Hrsg.] Responsibility in Nanotechnology Development Dordrecht : Springer Science and Business Media, 2014 (The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology ; 13), 191–205. 
Hahn, J.; Ladikas, M. (2014). Responsible research annd innovation: a global perspective. Lisboa : Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET, 2014 (Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies ; 10), 9–27. 
Presentations
Dewald, U. (2014). Grand challenges, bold concepts - Was kann die RRI-Debatte von der Transitions-Forschung lernen?. 6. Konferenz des Netzwerks Technikfolgenabschätzung (NTA) und 14. Technikfolgenabschätzung (TA) Jahreskonferenz des Instituts für Technikfolgen- Abschätzung, Wien, A, 2.-4. Juni 2014. 
Heil, R.; Dewald, U.; Fleischer, T.; Hahn, J.; Jahnel, J.; Seitz, S. B. (2014). Konzeptionelle Überlegungen für ein Forschungsvorhaben zur Klärung des Verhältnisses von Responsible (Research and) Innovation und TA. 6. Konferenz des Netzwerks Technikfolgenabschätzung (NTA) und 14. Technikfolgenabschätzung (TA) Jahreskonferenz des Instituts für Technikfolgen- Abschätzung, Wien, A, 2.-4. Juni 2014. 
Jahnel, J. (2014). Verantwortlichkeit zwischen Evidenz und Aushandlung. 6. NRW Nano-Konferenz, Dortmund, 1.-2. Dezember 2014. 
Jahnel, J.; Fleischer, T. (2014). Gestaltungsspielräume für RRI: Erfahrungen aus der Risiko-Governance von Nanomaterialien. 6. Konferenz des Netzwerks Technikfolgenabschätzung (NTA) und 14. Technikfolgenabschätzung (TA) Jahreskonferenz des Instituts für Technikfolgen- Abschätzung, Wien, A, 2.-4. Juni 2014. 
2013
Book Chapters
Grunwald, A. (2013). Responsible research and development: Roles of ethicists on the laboratory floor. van der Burg, S. [Hrsg.] Ethics on the Laboratory Floor Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, 38–56. 
2012
Book Chapters
Grunwald, A. (2012). Synthetic biology: moral, epistemic and political dimensions of responsibility. Paslack, R. [Hrsg.] Proceed with Caution? : Concept and Application of the Precautionary Principle in Nanobiotechnology Münster : LIT Verl., 2012 (Münsteraner Bioethik-Studien ; 12), 243–259. 

Contact

Dipl.-Geogr. Dr. Ulrich Dewald
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany