Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become a key concept under the EU’s Framework Programme for research and Innovation Horizon 2020, and it is gradually finding its way into national research and innovation programmes. However, the conceptualisation of RRI is still under development, it may concern the process as well as its outcomes and its practical implementation may take various forms. Within a recently started European project (FoTRRIS - Fostering a Transition towards Responsible Research and Innovation Systems: http://fotrrish2020.eu), we focus on the idea that RRI builds on collaborative multi-actor processes, where a variety of relevant actors work together in order to better target R&I activities at pressing societal challenges. At its best such co-operations involve transparent, inclusive and reflexive processes of problem definitions, analysis, and co-constructed visions of potential solutions encompassing a broad range of options making societal values such as empowerment, social justice and sustainability explicit, or anticipating potential impacts.
In practice the partnership between academic researchers and non-research actors may vary in form and intensity across different research activities or within a single project life cycle. Generally speaking, this contrasts with the traditional model of academic research, particularly in terms of who holds the authority to exercise agency. Within the current frame for R&I such collaborative efforts face a multitude of barriers, which makes it difficult to incorporate RRI practices broadly in research routines. The presentation will discuss the barriers identified through a literature review, which we consider most relevant to be anticipated when setting up RRI experiments within the FoTRRIS project