University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The role of civil society organisations in European responsible research and innovation

Ahrweiler, Petra, Gilbert, Nigel, Schrempf, Benjamin, Grimpe, Barbara and Jirotka, Marina (2018) The role of civil society organisations in European responsible research and innovation Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6 (1). pp. 25-49.

[img] Text
FullVersion_revised.docx - Accepted version Manuscript

Download (71kB)


EC policy reveals a strong conviction that CSO’s main function in EU-funded research and innovation projects is to take care of the ‘societal perspective’, which would not be adequately represented otherwise. With this, CSOs are supposed to be the main advocates of RRI in project consortia and are supported by all kinds of EC policy measures to fulfil this role. This conviction is not only problematic due to definition problems concerning CSO as such. Empirical data about the role of CSOs in high-tech/high-innovation research projects and the distribution of RRI activities among consortia members reveal that the role of CSOs is much more multi-faceted (data providers, providers of access to the research field, providers of specific domain expertise etc.) than currently assumed. Furthermore, RRI policies of the EC have managed to sensitise all other actors in consortia to the societal perspective: universities and companies are likewise active to promote and realise RRI perspectives in project consortia with CSO not really standing out among them. These findings have at least two interesting implications: (1) CSOs have far more to offer than being just the ‘moral voice’ of society in research and innovation; their contribution is multi-faceted and beneficial in many respects. (2) The RRI policy of the EC is even more successful than expected: it is not just one actor type that is supposed to introduce RRI keys and elements in consortia; we can observe something like RRI diffusion among different types of consortia members with all of them active in supporting RRI perspectives in their research work.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Ahrweiler, Petra
Schrempf, Benjamin
Grimpe, Barbara
Jirotka, Marina
Date : 30 November 2018
Funders : European Union Seventh Framework Programm
DOI : 10.1080/23299460.2018.1534508
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Responsible Innovation on 30 November 2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Responsible research and innovation; European research policy; Civil society organisations; Project consortia; RRI key actors; RRI key drivers
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 04 Dec 2018 11:09
Last Modified : 01 Dec 2019 02:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800