Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the European Union and Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) in India
Science, research, and innovation are central to the European strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. In India, the Science Technology and Innovation (STI) system is tasked to deliver solutions to address the pressing national challenges of energy and food security, nutrition, affordable health care, environment, water and sanitation and employment. It is also argued that Indian society must emerge as the major stake holder for the national STI system. India’s STI-led developmental efforts should thus aim at faster, inclusive and sustainable growth.
The European Commission (EC), the governing body of the European Union, is committed to directing research toward expanding the scientific and technological base of the European economy and industry, fostering broader benefits for society and tackling the most pressing societal challenges of our time. In India, the government supports ‘inclusive innovation’ to ensure access, availability and affordability of solutions to as large a population as possible. One of the tactics taken by the EC to create and disseminate socially and economically beneficial knowledge and drive prosperity and social benefit for all is the cross cutting Horizon 2020 (H2020) commitment to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). In order to foster inclusive science and innovation, the Indian government recently proposed, and put up for public consultation, a policy for Scientific Social Responsibility in order to build synergies among all stakeholders in the Indian scientific knowledge community and also about developing linkages between science and society.
In the remainder of this brief we offer some of the findings of the NewHoRRIzon project commissioned to develop the conceptual and operational basis to better integrate RRI into European and national research and innovation (R&I) practice and funding—to initiate exchange between European and Indian stakeholder inclusive research and innovation policy. We would like to delineate opportunities and policy exchange possibilities for mutual learning for achieving smart, sustainable, and inclusive R&I/STI in both territories.
Key messages derived from the learning
- RRI in the EU and & SSR in India have common foundations, aims and potential goals in making science and research better embedded in society;
- Learnings from RRI in EU may be applied to inform policy implementation of SSR in India;
- SSR principles and their application in policy may aid the development of RRI in the EU;
- SSR and RRI may jointly assist in developing a global framework for responsible innovation (RI);
- To foster these goals a joint Working Group (WG) comprising of researchers and policy makers from India and the EU to discuss and facilitate policy exchange between the respective territories in RRI and SSR is recommended.
- The WG may collect and disseminate learning for both territories, such as ones recommended at this brief