At the end of 2021, we began to a process of reflecting and learning from our work with ERA CoBioTech — a funding programme that has supported approximately €35m of research into synthetic biology, systems biology and industrial biotechnology in Europe. In parallel, we have worked with ERA CoBioTech to develop and embed a new approach to responsible research and innovation.
As the programme came to a close, we convened three workshops with participants in February 2022, and asked them to talk us through their goals for RRI, their experiences of developing approaches to RRI in this area, and how things could be done differently in the future.
We show how a new approach, grounded in the idea of human capabilities, can help to integrate the skills, knowledge and institutional conditions needed to enact upstream governance in the design of future funding programmes. We identify the goals researchers associated with RRI in the life sciences, outline five sets of capabilities that enable researchers, managers and administrators to practise responsible research and innovation, and unearth a corresponding set of re- sources that these capabilities depend upon. Funders that learn to design programmes to maximise and expand the five capability sets are likely to enable more substantive forms of upstream governance than before.
You can read the working paper at the link below. The second link takes you to a summary of the three workshops.
University of Edinburgh
Austrian Institute of Technology
University College London