Advancing the Monitoring of the Evolution and Benefits of Responsible Research and Innovation
Understanding the evolution and the benefits of RRI is crucial to furthering inclusivity, collaboration and transparency in R&I systems. The MoRRI project has developed a monitoring system which provides a first picture of the evolution and benefits of RRI. This needs to be built upon, to deepen understanding of whether and how RRI leads to measurable societal, democratic, scientific and economic benefits, to provide stakeholders with user-friendly yet advanced tools that aid their efforts to improve the outcomes of R&I, and to enable benchmarking with countries in other regions of the world.
Based on the outcomes of MoRRI, consortia should work to implement an improved RRI monitoring system. One improvement that should be foreseen is consideration of scientific benefits of RRI, in addition to the societal, democratic and economic ones examined and elaborated on by MoRRI. Another improvement that should be foreseen is the development and collection of data on indicators of the benefits of RRI, building on the preliminary work conducted by MoRRI. Other improvements could relate to data reliability, efficiency of data collection, country coverage, balanced stakeholder representation in the monitoring system, ensuring synergies (and avoiding duplication) with other monitoring systems, and the comprehensibility of the indicator system to stakeholders. These and any other improvements may be introduced incrementally, so as to ensure there is sufficient continuity with MoRRI to enable comparison across different data collections. Consortia should publish the results of data collections at suitable regular intervals (e.g. in the second and the fourth year of the project).
This will require thorough review of the existing monitoring system developed by MoRRI, highlighting strengths and areas where improvements could be envisaged; a number of focused desk-based reviews and empirical in-depth studies could be envisaged to fill knowledge gaps about the evolution and benefits of RRI. Links should be established to relevant SWAFS and RRI-related projects, with a view to analysing and synthesising data they have collected concerning the impacts of their activities and the benefits of RRI. A clear intervention logic for the entire monitoring system should be developed so that the impact pathways between indicators and benefits can be perceived and so that stakeholders at national and EU levels can easily identify where efforts need to be made to improve the outcomes of R&I. Development of an RRI dashboard/online tool should be foreseen, to help stakeholders self-diagnose and react to the monitoring data with concrete policy responses. Technical fiches for every indicator along with detailed notes on data collection should be prepared to enable data collection after the lifetime of the project. Peer-review and other publications and participation in high-level scientific and policy fora are expected. Cross- and/or trans-disciplinarity should be envisaged if the methods and knowledge of different disciplines are required to implement the monitoring system and/or establish causal links between RRI activities and benefits. An advisory board consisting of experts from society, policy, science and innovation should provide yearly independent feedback on the work to the consortium.
In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in 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. A project duration of five years should be envisaged.
This topic is expected to lead to an improvement in the monitoring of the evolution and benefits of RRI. Building upon and improving the monitoring system developed by MoRRI, it should implement a robust and replicable monitoring system consisting of a basket of indicators covering the five RRI dimensions and governance. It should provide time-series data with enough continuity with MoRRI's to enable meaningful comparison across data collections. It should enable benchmarking with countries in other regions of the world.
Socio-economic science and humanities