Rome Declaration on Responsible Research and Innovation


From 19 – 21 November last, in the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the SIS-RRI – Sciences, Innovation and Society: Achieving Responsible Research and Innovation Conference was held in Rome. The main goal of this meeting was to debate the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

This concept is a transversal issue in Horizon 2020 Science with and for society call. It is defined in this Call as follows: “To allow all social actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organisations, etc.) to work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of European society.”

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a multidimensional concept that includes six key issues: public engagement, gender equality, open access, science education, ethics, and governance. Responsible Research and Innovation is an ambitious challenge for the creation of a research and innovation policy driven by the needs of society and engaging all societal actors via inclusive participatory approaches.

In order to analyse perspectives and challenges for the future on the relationship between science and society, the Conference discussed the results of the previous schemes with the aim to better make the transition from “Science and Society” and “Science in Society” to ultimately “Science with and for Society”.

GUNi had the opportunity to participate in the event with a presentation within the block: “The international dimension of RRI”. Following the last GUNi Report: “Knowledge, Engagement and Higher education contributing to Social Change”, Cristina Escrigas presented the main key issues regarding the global approach to this concept. The main ideas of her presentation were related to the need to rethink several key issues that underlie the concept of RRI. These issues were:

What we call Society Needs,
What we understand by Innovation,
What we call society, and
What we understand by Responsible.

One of the main outcomes of the conference is the Rome Declaration on Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe. The declaration promotes Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), calling on all stakeholders to work together for inclusive and sustainable solutions to societal challenges. It urges to build capacity for RRI as well as to review and adapt metrics and narratives related to RRI.

More information about the conference can be found here.

Find the Rome Declaration here.


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government