Mapping the RRI Landscape: An Overview of Organisations, Projects, Persons, Areas and Topics

  • Job TimmermansEmail author


Increased attention in politics and academia coincided with a rapid expansion of the RRI discourse. As a consequence, the proliferation of RRI approaches and projects has made it harder to maintain an overview of the discourse. Accessing and keeping track therefore is difficult, especially for newbies, of which there are many now that RRI is being engrained in R&I policies. To untangle the RRI discourse a landscape study was undertaken providing a comprehensive overview of the main contributors, the terms RRI is perceived and the areas it is being applied to. Deploying a qualitative research methodology 536 persons emerged from the sources, affiliated to 246 organisations that reside in 89 different countries. Of these, 312 are authors and 168 involved in 18 RRI projects. Also, the study revealed 14 areas of application, 17 features and 4 methods in relation to which RRI is currently being addressed. Furthermore, the analysis shows which actors act as hubs in the different thematic or regional segments that together make up the discourse. Lastly, the study hints towards future directions of the discourse that are relevant to both policy-makers and RRI researchers. Well-represented areas and terms of addressing may be interpreted as important and therefore in need of further attention, while underrepresented areas represent opportunities for further research or justify further policy attention.


Landscape Studies Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) Rathenau Institute Racial Edge Responsible Innovation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research for this chapter was first undertaken for a deliverable (D 6.4.b) of the EU funded FP7 Governance of REsponsible innovATion (GREAT) project.4 The author would like to thank Bernd Stahl and Sara Wilford for their collaboration on the deliverable and fellow consortium members of the GREAT project for their support and feedback. The author also would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and comments to improve the quality of the chapter.


  1. Asante, K., and R. Owen. 2012. Towards a framework for responsible financial innovation. Available at: Accessed 6 Nov 2012.
  2. Biernacki, P., and D. Waldorf. 1981. Snowball sampling: Problems and techniques of chain referral sampling. Sociological Methods and Research 10 (2): 141–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruijnis, M.R.N., et al. 2015. Moral “Lock-In” in responsible innovation: The ethical and social aspects of killing day-old chicks and its alternatives. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (5): 939–960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. European Commission. n.d. Horizon 2020 – The EU framework programme for research and innovation. Available at: Accessed 7 Dec 2015.
  5. ———. 2013. Horizon 2020. Work programme 2014–2015. Science with and for society, Brussels. Available at:
  6. Fisher, E., and A. Rip. 2013. Responsible Innovation: Multi-level dynamics and soft intervention practices. In Responsible Innovation, ed. R. Owen, M. Heintz, and J. Bessant. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Geoghegan-Quinn, M., 2012. Responsible research and innovation. Europe’s ability to respond to societal challenges. European Union. Available at:
  8. Given, L.M. 2008. The SAGE encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. Los Angeles: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Grunwald, A. 2011. Responsible innovation: bringing together technology assessment, applied ethics, and STS research. Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies 7: 9–31.Google Scholar
  10. Macnaghten, P., and R. Owen. 2011. Environmental science: Good governance for geoengineering. Nature 479 (7373): 293–293.Google Scholar
  11. NWO. 2016. NWO-MVI (Maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren). NWO-MVI (Maatschappelijk verantwoord innoveren). Available at: Accessed Feb 20 2016.
  12. ———. 2010. Responsible innovation. Project summaries, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).Google Scholar
  13. Owen, R., P. Macnaghten, and J. Stilgoe. 2012. Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society. Science and Public Policy 39 (6): 751–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Owen, R., J. Stilgoe, P. Macnaghten, M. Gorman, E. Fisher, and D.H. Guston. 2013. A Framework for Responsible Innovation. In Responsible Innovation, ed. R. Owen, M. Heintz, and J. Bessant. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Oxford English Dictionary. n.d.. Available at: Accessed 23 Nov 2013.
  16. Siune, K. et al. 2009. Challenging futures of science in society. Emerging trends and cutting-edge issues. Report of the MASIS Expert Group. European Commission. Available at: Accessed 8 Jan 2013.
  17. Stahl, B.C., G. Eden, and M. Jirotka. 2013. Responsible Research and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology. Identifying and engaging with the ethical implications of ICTs. In Responsible Innovation, ed. R. Owen, M. Heintz, and J. Bessant. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Stilgoe, J., R. Owen, and P. Macnaghten. 2013. Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy 42 (9): 1568–1580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sutcliffe, H. 2011. A report on responsible research & innovation. Available at: Accessed 6 Nov 2012.
  20. Von Schomberg, R. 2011. Towards responsible research and innovation in the information and communication technologies and security technologies fields. SSRN Electronic Journal.Google Scholar
  21. Von Schomberg, R. 2012. Prospects for technology assessment in a framework of responsible research and Innovation. In Technikfolgen abschätzen lehren, ed. M. Dusseldorp and R. Beecroft, 39–61. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  22. Zwart, H., L. Landeweerd, and A. Van Rooij. 2014. Adapt or perish? Assessing the recent shift in the European research funding arena from “ELSA”to “RRI”. Life Sciences, Society and Policy 10 (1): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations