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A Linked-up Global World of RRI - SwafS-14-2017
Deadline: Aug 30, 2017  

 Single Market
 Waste Management
 International Cooperation
 Nanotechnology and Nanosciences
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description

Specific Challenge:

At the moment, 'a linked-up global world of RRI', is a future, and speculative, perspective. But the world is definitely linked-up, and there is recurrent mention of, and occasional work on, RRI-type issues all over the world. In the field of nanotechnology, for some time (since the early 2000s) there were platforms and spaces for dialogue. What is the role of regulation and of civil society in a linked-up global society? What is the role of industry, with the dynamics of firms wanting to appear as 'good firms' rather than the contrary? Similarly, what is the role of nation states and international organizations in this global world?

One might actually consider that RRI could become a competitive advantage, definitely for Europe and directly contribute to Europe’s jobs and growth agenda. That possibility will be one element of this topic. It is important to give industry’s ‘ethical behaviour’ a concrete foothold, and not to leave it to abstract deliberations. To this end, domain and case studies in key areas, such as Digital Single Market and Energy Union, supporting the Commission’s agenda[[]] for jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change will be relevant. Other sectors of activities can be considered as case studies as well (e.g. bio-economy, waste management) provided that they yield significant insight into the possible rise of the global world of RRI.


There are interesting projects already that can be built on for the present topic. The EU-funded ProGReSS project[[]], aims to promote a European approach to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through a global network, including partners and advisers from Europe, the US, China, Japan, India, Australia and South Africa, and involvement of relevant stakeholders from academia, international organisations, industry, SME research, NGOs, policy advisors and research funders. The GEST (Global Ethics in Science and Technology) project[[]], which has recently led to a major publication on Science and Technology Governance and Ethics, comparing Europe, China and India, is another example.

The present topic spans at least over three overlapping foci:

  • Identification and analysis of platforms and spaces for RRI-type issues
  • Comparative studies of major and minor players, taking into account differences especially the situation of developing countries
  • Advantages (up to competitiveness) of RRI, and ethical behaviour in general.

It is also important to locate these questions and trends in current and emerging governance frameworks.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, including with third countries beyond Associated Countries.

To address this specific challenge, proposals should have a wide geographical coverage. It is therefore expected that consortia would include at least entities from 10 different Member States or Associated Countries, although smaller consortia will also be eligible and may be selected.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This action allows for the provision of financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes.

Expected Impact:

Better understanding of the dynamics of a 'linked-up global world of RRI' will allow benchmarking European RRI initiatives and integrating good practices from other contexts. It will help industry, civil society and policy makers to take decisions based on evidence. It will produce formal knowledge, easing the dissemination of good practices and improving existing training material.

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