Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) represents a step forward in the debate on science in society. RRI encompasses all stages of Research and Innovation (R&I): reflections on relevant research, innovation and societal issues; design, organisation of the research agenda and research teams; involvement of research target groups in R&I; implementation of the research results; feedback towards stakeholders and evaluation of the results; open access to the results by third parties, monitoring and evaluation of R&I, education, etc.
To that end, RRI supports collaboration between all stakeholders and integrates societal issues in order to improve the excellence of R&I, a goal that perfectly matches the philanthropy’s social legitimization as well as the European Commission.
The workshop showed how mutual understanding and collaboration might lead to success. Its main outcome is maybe the common will of the EC, foundations and other philanthropic organisations to go further in the development of RRI in Europe.
One example unanimously stated by the participants is that the idea of excellence in research is currently changing. Many plead to define a new excellence concept, moving beyond dimensions such as impact factor, valorisation and patent performance. Public and private funders should reflect on what constitutes excellence. Foundations proposed to take the lead on this reflection.
Finally, the role of other important actors beyond the EC, foundations and other philanthropic organisations was also underlined during the workshop: national governments should make of RRI an operational “cross‑cutting” issue; the business community should be more involved in the introduction and promotion of RRI and philanthropy; most prestigious R&I institutes should become leaders in the promotion of RRI and philanthropy and researchers themselves should be ore engaged; and citizens and their associations should be more proactive in the development of philanthropy and RRI.