Responsible citizen innovation

More and more, citizens are becoming key actors in innovation pathways. DIY-experiences are flourishing, ranging from wetlabs and bio-benches to fablabs and makerspaces, along with co-creation and co-design settings, end-user panels, patient-innovators initiatives, and bottom-up lifestyle- and health data-collecting platforms. Therefore, innovation pipelines in industrial precision medicine, 3D printing in biomedicine and synthetic biology are deeply transformed nowadays thanks to ideas, creativity and energy from engaged citizens.

Grassroots initiatives and citizen science are often encouraged since considered a relevant element of Responsible Innovation. At the same time, critiques have been raised on the exploitation of this approaches by innovation entrepreneurs, start-up impresarios and venture capitalists, depicted1 as “the public donating its unpaid work and data to privately owned, online entities” and “extension of the sharing economy into the heart of scientific research”. In business and entrepreneurial realms, where the final aim is to reach the market with new products, services and processes for profit, how to ensure that citizens’ contribution can be properly recognized and rewarded? What kind of options and mechanisms can innovation ecosystems adopt to incentivize “Citizen Innovation” but also guarantee a fair and transparent compensation for those who take part in the design or refinements of new marketable products to pursue an actual Responsible Innovation?

The second CFT dialogue revolved aroung these relevant open questions for an effective RRI uptake in industry and was organised and hosted in Milan by Giannino Bassetti Foundation on 21st June 2018 with the support of CEU, Aarhus University and formicablu.

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prof. Francesco Lescai,
Aarhus University

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement no. 710500