Responsible research and Innovation (RRI) stands in the centre of the Irresistible project. Previous ‘techno-disasters’ together with the many facets of the current financial crisis have resulted in a loss of public trust in business and governments across the world with European countries the least trust in  of their own governments and business.

RRI is about creating a shared understanding of the appropriate behaviours of the EC, governments, business and NGOs which is central to building the trust and confidence of the public and other stakeholders in the safe and effective systems, process and products of innovation. [1]

"As the Europe 2020 Strategy makes clear, to overcome the current economic crisis we need to create a smarter, greener economy, where our prosperity will come from research and innovation. Science is the basis for a better future and the bedrock of a knowledge-based society and a healthy economy. After ten years of action at EU level to develop and promote the role of science in society, at least one thing is very clear: we can only find the right answers to the challenges we face by involving as many stakeholders as possible in the research and innovation process. Research and innovation must respond to the needs and ambitions of society, reflect its values, and be responsible.” [2]

Definition: Responsible Research and Innovation is 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). [3]

More information regarding the 6 dimensions of RRI can be found in the Science in Society website:


[1] From Sutcliffe, H. A (2011). Report on Responsible Research and Innovation, DG Research Workshop on Responsible  Research and Innovation in Europe in Brussels, 16-17 May 2011
[2] MÁIRE GEOGHEGAN-QUINN, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Message delivered at the conference, Science in Dialogue - Towards a European Model for Responsible Research an Innovation, Odense, Denmark, 23-25 April 2012
[3] Von Schomberg, Rene (2013). "A vision of responsible innovation". In: R. Owen, M.  Heintz & J. Bessant (eds.) Responsible Innovation. London: John Wiley, forthcoming