Last week, the European Commission published an advice by Prof. Jeroen van den Hoven (TU Delft, NL) c.s. including options for strengthening responsible research and innovation. The international experts favour that the European Commission should play a coordinating role. They offer four policy options: 1) business as usual, 2) a modest increase of European support for responsible innovation, 3) dialogue and networking about voluntary measures by EU member states, and 4) legally enforced European regulation. Options 2 and 3 appear the most promising. Concrete proposals for European measures include: integrating criteria for responsible innovation in the guidelines for European research subsidies in Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), and funding projects incorporating responsible innovation actions.
The experts propose addressing companies by developing formal voluntary standards, building upon the ISO 26000 norms for Social Responsibility and the work in progress in the CEN TC 389 on standards for innovation management. Educating science and engineering students in responsible innovation is deemed essential, but limited to suggestions for embedding this in university curriculums. Vocational training where most industrial personnel is educated and life long training for professionals remain out of scope. EthicSchool offers the latter. These proposals for new European policies sketch a suitable framework for EthicSchool’s initiatives for putting responsible innovation in practice. Read more about this in this paper, presented by Ineke Malsch during the online 2nd World Sustainability Forum, 1-30 November 2012: http://www.sciforum.net/conf/wsf2/