“Searching for the best research for society, with society”
On Monday 21 November 2016 three European research projects that are contributing actively towards the development of a smart, inclusive and sustainable society were honoured by the European Foundations Award for Responsible Research & Innovation (EFARRI). The Swedish Mistra Urban Futures, Italian water management project IMRR and Spanish miCROWDscopy were selected by a scientific jury from more than 200 applications to receive a prize of €20,000 to continue their valuable work in diverse fields.
EFARRI is a joint initiative by the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium), “la Caixa” Foundation (Spain), Fondazione Cariplo (Italy), Lundbeck Foundation (Denmark), the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany) and the European Foundation Centre Research Forum. These Foundations have a shared aspiration to encourage researchers to reflect on their work in terms of responsible research and innovation (RRI) and to actively incorporate methods that will align their research with the needs of society.
The methods and practices used to carry out RRI differ from more traditional methods for conducting research and innovation. RRI requires the engagement of diverse stakeholders, active anticipation and reflection on the multiple values that surround the project, open and transparent communication and the ability to respond or adapt to developments based on the feedback received in order to accommodate the wider range of existing and future stakeholders and their viewpoints.
Prof. Jeroen van den Hoven from Delft University of Technology, chair of the EFARRI jury, emphasises the unique nature of this award: ‘Not only the laureates, but many of the applications we received show a creative approach to tackling a societal challenge by implementing RRI in their daily research practices. They set an example for RRI because of their original and deeply embedded approaches, allowing them to anticipate potential implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation in their projects.’
The EFARRI award is up to now the only large financial incentive for the uptake of RRI in research.
For more information about the aims of the award, the selection process and the finalists see www.efarri.eu