Ethics of Innovation: the challenge of new interaction modes

What is it about?

Active participation of citizens in science and innovation has gained prominence. At the same time, new IT tools have profoundly impacted the way in which researchers work and interact. These developments are promising and have numerous advantages. At the same time, however, these new modes of innovation also raise ethical and regulatory considerations, including concerns regarding the protection of participating citizens, their potential exploitation, the collection of big data and related privacy considerations, as well as intellectual property issues.


In order to maximise the social benefits derived from innovation, the action will assess the ethical, regulatory and governance issues potentially arising in this context. The action should identify what the distinctive elements of innovation ethics would be in this dynamic context.

The role of citizen participation in innovation (including social innovation) must be analysed in order to maximise the effectiveness of this participation for all stakeholders, taking into account possible gender differences. Best practices for an active involvement of citizens and relevant stakeholders in the innovation processes should be identified. The design and use of IT tools should also be considered in order to optimise stakeholder participation.

The action must propose an ethics framework, based on accepted principles, which aim to ensure that innovation remains a process which responds to citizens’ needs and values, improves access and avoids a technological divide. Such a framework should focus on the elaboration and implementation of publicly funded research and innovation programmes, as well as public-private partnerships. It should be developed, validated and translated into a set of practical guidelines that enable the effective handling of the identified ethical and regulatory issues.

Such a framework and guidelines must be compatible with and aim to complement the new European code of conduct for research integrity and include, where applicable, measures for benefit sharing.

Expected Impact:

This action will enable more effective handling of the ethical dimension of innovation, in particular regarding the new modes of interaction and participation. It will offer a practical and operative tool for all stakeholders confronted with the challenges related to co-design and to new (IT-based) interaction modes. It will practically support the work of;

  1. the designers and funders of research and innovation policies/programmes,
  2. the ethics committees tasked with evaluating and monitoring innovative programmes and projects,
  3. the research integrity bodies responsible for promoting research integrity and research quality. The implementation of the guidelines in pilots are expected to increase their uptake and overall the impact of the action.

Deadline: 02 April 2019

Available call budget in EUR: 3,000,000

In the same framework, iED has already implemented several innovative projects which included innovative practices.  If you are interested in applying for this call you could contact us and further discuss the available options.

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