University Rovira i Virgili (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 145-149
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0052
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) is a concept developed by the European Commission for the governance of research and innovation processes with a view on the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products. It aims to shape, maintain, develop, coordinate and align existing and novel research and innovation-related processes, actors and responsibilities with a view to ensuring desirable and acceptable research outcomes.

H2020 funded projects (e.g., EnRRICH and HEIRRI) to focus on RRI training needs of the different actors involved. A detailed analysis of the educational needs regarding to RRI shows that: a) RRI is addressed in HE programmes but not expressively; b) there is a potential for co-creating based on learning communities; c) the relevance to link RRI learning activities to real world problems. But there is no substantial attempt observable to develop continuous higher education programmes supporting the implementation RRI and the respective reorganisation processes in universities, research centres, research and innovation oriented enterprises and public authorities like cities or regional governments. Each one of the RRI modules will use a combination of face-to-face and blended learning methodologies.

The RRIL project pretends to fulfil this gap through the co-creation of higher education modules between different research and innovation actors. In the RRIL (Responsible Research and Innovation Learning) ERASMUS+ project, learning material are developed/under development by the partner universities (Finland, Poland and Spain). To be successful one of the key issues is the public engagement as it goes far beyond the researchers activity and the relevant stakeholders at local/regional/national level (non-profit organizations, cities, companies…), and include small players (neighbourhoods associations, social actors…).

Trust of society with some research tasks has to be rebuilt due to past actions where companies fund research orientated (university chairs that depend on the funding of big companies). In addition, no unique solution can be found, as the societal opinion changes over time: (1) fracking opinion in EU and USA differs widely; (2) GMO labelling can be improved; (3) almost all infrastructure has the effect of “not in my courtyard”, regardless if it refers environmentally-free approach (e.g., wind technology), (4) Nuclear power, where the public opinion changes as a consequence of an accident.

Due to the limited resources available, the project will focus its activity in three different domains: economics, social sciences and energy management. The material will be tested in formal education (BSc or MSc) or in non-academic environments (for example, as a module for entrepreneurships that create their start-up companies). The modules will focus in engagement, gender and ethics, were training is multidisciplinary and transversal.

We advocate for a combination on transnational and local co-creation of training and learning modules on RRI, as innovation processes are global, but regional and local idiosyncrasy of the innovation systems and processes must be taken into account. In a later project stage, the modules will be offered to research and innovation actors capacitating the learners to develop jointly innovative solution for societal problems.
Responsible research and innovation, adult education, lifelong learning, education and research management.