Responsible Research and Innovation. Responsible research and innovation refers to the incorporation of both the positive and negative impacts of an invention or rather innovation of any kind. The term “responsible innovation”, which has become prevalent nowadays, suggests that over the past years adverse impacts of innovation on communities, individuals, and different environments were not being addresses. These negative impacts would be assumed and no research would be done to ensure the safety of people and the eco-systems. According to Blok and Lemmens 21, the European Union, through a program known as Horizon 2020 have been involved in campaigns to ensure that responsible research is done during innovation discouraging innovators who only look at the economic benefits of their innovations. This process ensures that a well detailed research is done before the end of an innovation. Not only does responsible research point out negative impacts likely to be faced in the future but also give the innovators a chance to correct the outcome thus resulting an innovation that is ecofriendly and economically beneficial.
To ensure the art of responsible research and innovation is embraced by innovators in all industries, the European Union has been on the forefront of the campaign. In the last decade, they have started different programs in various industries to show how responsible research is all about (Blok and Lemmens 21). One of their programs which turned out to be successful is Synenergene. This program’s focus was on synthetic biology, a discipline between engineering and biology which incorporates nanotechnology, biotechnology as well as ICT. The four year program, which started in 2014, aimed at focusing on issues arising during the designing and creation of novel biological systems (Synenergene). These systems provide solutions to different pressing issues on environment, public health, and energy. However, these innovations in synthetic biology bring about a number of problems that pose a risk to social economic and environmental issues. Synenergene was therefore brought forth to conduct research which would help innovators in this field reduce the negative effect of their innovations.
Responsible Research and Innovation
Synenergene responded to the arising challenges by initiating as well as promoting public dialogues which revolved around synthetic biology. In attendance, were stakeholders form different fields such as science, technology, industries, art, civil society, education, environment among many others (Synenergene). Public engagement and mutual learning helped people have a better understanding on the research and innovation done in synthetic biology. Involvement of different fields helped them give their take on different synthetic biology innovations. This was important since possible negative impacts of these innovations were pointed out and ways to curb them discussed. Different fields were able to point out the benefits of various innovations in this field as well as challenges that may arise. With such information collected via responsible research, the innovators in synthetic biology would be design and create different novel biological systems with minimum negative effects on the eco systems (Synenergene).
Through responsible research, synthetic biology have been able to come up with responsible innovations that are not only for economic gain but also care about their impact to the communities, individuals and other environment. Different industries can use this approach to conduct their research to ensure that their innovations are not a threat to different environments. This type of research will also improve the quality of innovations that people come up with in different fields and industries. From health care to manufacturing to technology, quality research on their products and processes will help improve the innovations at the same time minimizing the risks posed by these innovations.