Responsible, Inclusive Innovation and the Nano-divide

Schroeder, Doris orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3633-2758, Dalton-Brown, Sally, Schrempf, Benjamin and Kaplan, David (2016) Responsible, Inclusive Innovation and the Nano-divide. NanoEthics, 10 (2). pp. 177-188. ISSN 1871-4757

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Policy makers from around the world are trying to emulate successful innovation systems in order to support economic growth. At the same time, innovation governance systems are being put in place to ensure a better integration of stakeholder views into the research and development process. In Europe, one of the most prominent and newly emerging governance frameworks is called Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). This article aims to substantiate the following points: (1) The concept of RRI and the concept of justice can be used to derive similar ethical positions on the nano-divide. (2) Given the ambitious policy aims of RRI (e.g. economic competitiveness enhancer), the concept may be better suited to push for ethical outcomes on access to nanotechnology and its products rather than debates based on justice issues alone. It may thus serve as a mediator concept between those who push solely for competitiveness considerations and those who push solely for justice considerations in nano-technology debates. (3) The descriptive, non-normative Systems of Innovation approaches (see below) should be linked into RRI debates to provide more evidence on whether the approach advocated to achieve responsible and ethical governance of research and innovation (R&I) can indeed deliver on competitiveness (in nano-technology and other fields).

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