The RRI Toolkit: the most important information resource on Responsible Research and Innovation

RRI Tools is a flagship project funded by the European Commission (EC) under the 7th Framework Program. RRI Tools was set up to foster the development of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) across Europe by means of an ambitious training, advocacy, and dissemination programme. It´s wide European coverage was possible due to the exceptionally large multidisciplinary consortium of RRI Tools, consisting of 26 partner institutions active in 30 countries from all over Europe and led by "la Caixa" Foundation.

The main outcome of the project was the development of an interactive digital platform - the RRI Toolkit - gathering a wealth of resources to help stakeholders across Europe in developing their understanding of, and capacity to put RRI into practice. Designed as an interactive, participatory Toolkit, it is open to the community, so that every actor can showcase their own practices and resources and get inspired by those of others.

The project officially ended in December 2016, and since then, the project´s coordinator - “la Caixa” Foundation - has brought its commitment to keep the RRI Toolkit updated and running and its dissemination channels active beyond expected.

The RRI Toolkit has become a popular resource for the R&I community in Europe, and beyond. The platform has a loyal community of users that continuously visits and uses it as a proficient and trustworthy repository. In social media, being one of the most followed projects in its field, the RRI Tools channels have brought together a considerable number of followers and community of action. Along these years we improved and expanded contents of the platform. Many new resources have been uploaded into the resource repository and many fruitful collaborations with different EU projects and other international initiatives have taken place.

The RRI Toolkit - purpose and structure

The main purpose of the RRI Toolkit is to help all actors to familiarise with the RRI concept and make it a reality. R&I actors include the research community, policy makers, R&D industries and businesses, civil society organisations and the education community. The RRI Toolkit addresses all of them with a special emphasis on newcomers. The ultimate goal is to accompany and empower all these actors through the RRI learning process, from the very first steps to becoming autonomous practitioners. This goes from introducing the concept to beginners, to presenting inspiring examples of what others have done, to providing tools to plan and implement responsible R&I initiatives, to fostering the reflection on such practices, and to facilitating the means to become active trainers and advocators to the RRI approach. For doing so the RRI Toolkit provides a wealth of resources related to RRI and its diverse facets, in many cases tailored to the needs and challenges faced by each group of actors.

The structure of the RRI Toolkit tries to address some of the main challenges detected during its design: the novelty and complexity of the RRI concept; the variety of R&I actors that it should serve; the heterogeneous backgrounds of these actors, from newcomers to experts; the diverse challenges these actors face in their daily work, and for which the RRI Toolkit should offer an aid; and the vast number of resources compiled in the resource repository.

Giving its multiplicity of contents, users, and potential applications, the RRI Toolkit is structured in different sections and offers multiple entry gates:

  • Home page: offers a first contact with the structure and contents of the RRI Toolkit, and redirects users to the other entry gates and to the channels to access the RRI Community of Practice
  • What is RRI landing page: for users interested to deepen their knowledge on the RRI concept, this section includes a full description of the RRI framework, a brief history, and explanations on why the concept has appeared, and some resources to gain further insight on the topic
  • Stakeholder landing pages: provide a “soft” landing for newcomers, introducing RRI and the Toolkit contents tailored to each stakeholder group (policy makers, research community, business and industry, education community and civil society)
  • Policy agenda landing pages: relate the six policy agendas defined by the EC (ethics, gender equality, governance, open access, public engagement, and science education) to the holistic RRI approach
  • How-To application guidelines: help users understand how they can solve a given challenge through examples and the contextualized use of specific resources of the RRI Toolkit
  • Resource repository & search engine: allows a detailed search of the whole resources included in the resource repository, with multiple customizable filters for those looking for specific resources
  • Self-reflection tool: provides room for reflection on the user´s research and innovation practice, providing with a set of open questions to guide the analysis on how such practice can be made more responsible
  • Training section: contains a range of learning resources that users can adapt for designing customized training

As an intro to the RRI Toolkit you can watch this video tutorial or have a look at this power point presentation, which gives you a good overview of its structure. This other video features interviews with representatives from different stakeholder groups explaining how and why to use the RRI Toolkit.

Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • General/no specific focus
  • International; Other
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • Engineering and Technology
  • General
  • Humanities
  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Entry created by Elke Dall on June 8, 2022
Modified on June 8, 2022