A Report from the Field: Doing RRI from Scratch in an Assisted Living Technology Research and Development Project








The transdisciplinary Assisted Living project conducts research within (ICT), health science, social science and ethics. The overall aim of the project is to advance responsible research and innovation (RRI) in the field of welfare technology. By adapting an RRI framework, the project aims to: (a) map how stakeholders and experts perceive the state-of-the-art of responsible welfare technologies, focusing on assisted living technologies (ALT), in Norway and internationally; (b) develop ALT solutions for users with mild cognitive impairment and dementia (MCI/D), through an RRI approach; (c) judge by an integrated HTA approach whether technologies introduced through an RRI process score better than currently implemented technologies; and d) create a wider dialogue on responsible welfare technologies for the future, reflecting on alternatives and options. In the project RRI is operationalized as involving four dimensions: (i) A specific focus on addressing significant societal needs and challenges, (ii) A research and development process that actively engages and responds to a range of stakeholders, (iii) A concerted effort to anticipate potential problems, identify alternatives, and reflect on underlying values, and (iv) A willingness from relevant actors to act and adapt according to 1–3. These dimensions are built into the project’s design in different ways. The project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, started December 2015 and we have by now had substantial experience with working with these dimensions in practice. This paper will describe the experiences with including needs assessment, engagement, anticipation, reflection and responsiveness in the project, after 1.5 years operation. The paper will highlight several challenges that have appeared in the project when doing RRI in practice, related to transdisciplinarity, communication, project planning and control, and quality. We believe that the challenges experienced in our project are typical of RRI projects, so it is important to create open discussions about the pros and cons of RRI projects in the community of RRI practitioners.




Permanent URL

  • https://hdl.handle.net/10642/6597