The Associació Catalana d’Universitats Públiques is currently working on the Higher Education in Responsible Research and Innovation (HEIRRI – www.heirri.eu) project, a European Horizon2020 funded project under the call Science for Society. This project aims to promote Responsible Research and Innovation in higher education, and specifically it will provide teaching/training materials in different formats for higher education institutions to integrate into the curriculums of their degrees, or for specific workshops.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a term used widely in Europe, we are aware that it is not used in other parts of the world, but it basically focuses on six dimensions (there are some additional definitions but the ideas are similar):

  1. Engagement: It implies that societal challenges should be framed on the basis of widely representative social, economic and ethical concerns and common principles on the strength of joint participation of all societal actors – researchers, industry, policymakers and civil society.
  2. Gender Equality: Addresses the underrepresentation of women, indicating that human resources management must be modernized and that the gender dimension should be integrated in the research and innovation content.
  3. Science Education: Faces the challenge to better equip future researchers and other societal actors with the necessary knowledge and tools to fully participate and take responsibility in the research and innovation process.
  4. Open Access: States that RRI must be both transparent and accessible. Free online access should be given to the results of publicly funded research (publications and data).
  5. Ethics: Requires that research and innovation respects fundamental rights and the highest ethical standards in order to ensure increased societal relevance and acceptability of research and innovation outcomes.
  6. Governance: Addresses the responsibility of policymakers to prevent harmful or unethical developments in research and innovation. The latter is a fundamental basis for the development of the rest of the dimensions.

The HEIRRI project calls on higher education institutions from all continents interested in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and its integration into the curricula for a pilot test of two of the training programs and materials developed by the HEIRRI project.