In this post I would like to take a look at the work of one of the most important figures in Responsible Innovation, René von Schomberg.
René von Schomberg
Von Schomberg works within the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and innovation, and over the last 12-15 years has introduced and promoted the idea of Responsible Innovation, introducing it to the Commission’s calls for funding over a decade ago, and helping to make it ever more important within research funding.
He is co-editor of the International Handbook on Responsible Innovation, has written the most widely used definition used in academia but also runs a non-academic WordPress blog.
Recent articles include on the blog an overview of our recent book, a summary of projects on RI that have been funded by the Commission, articles on open science and precision agriculture.
Once that has wetted your appetite, you should take a look at the LIVING INNOVATION website, which hosts a video interview with von Schomberg entitled Responsibility and Transformational Change in Innovation Systems. This interview is very recent and wide-ranging, addressing a series of topics and issues and covering the evolution of the concept of RRI within the European Union. Note that he is described as the Father of Responsible Innovation!
In the video von Schomberg addresses lots of interesting topics, including small business practices and local, regional, national and supranational governance of innovation systems.
The website also contains an interview with Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of Digital Europe, a leading trade association representing digitally transforming industries in Europe. The topic of Responsible Research and Innovation and the consequences of its implementation are discussed from the speaker’s own perspective, making for very interesting and thought-provoking listening.
Last but not least comes an article that I wrote in 2012 about von Schomberg’s Matrix for Responsible Innovation, published in various academic books but also in non academic terms on his blog.
Von Schomberg is an interesting and extremely influential character. A good starting point if you want to understand how the idea of introducing responsibility to research funding has developed.