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Responsible Research and Innovation

How can we integrate ethical and societal considerations into the processes and products of research and innovation?

This is a core consideration of the field of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The key aim of the field is to explore and develop the means by which societal and ethical concerns to be seriously embedded in research and innovation. This will allow for such considerations to be proactive and preventive, rather than reactive to serious ethical issues that may arise through the introduction of technologies “in the wild”. Importantly RRI may also be seen as shaping a creative space in which researchers and innovators can generate insights informed by and aligned to societal and ethical concerns: having a mutual benefit to them such as in increasingly the likelihood of the acceptability of their research and research outcomes.

As a group, we have played a key role and continue to take a keen interest in the development of the field. We have led and undertaken seminal projects such as the EPSRC funded FRRIICT Project; and the EU FP7 funded GREAT Project (Governance for Responsible Innovation) and RESPONSIBILITY Project (Global Model and Observatory for International Responsible Research and Innovation Coordination). We are currently leading the RRI component of the EU FP7 funded Smart Society Project, as well as the within the large-scale EPSRC funded NQIT (Networked Quantum Information Technologies) Hub. This is the largest of four hubs in the £270 million pound investment made by the government through their UK National Quantum Technology Programme.

FRRICT has produced a video animation that describes the value of responsible research and innovation in ICT.


Many of our HCC projects follow RRI principles and include activities that promote responsibility in research, design, and development. We have also developed and lead the Deparment's new undergraduate course on Ethics and Responsible Innovation.