Six new consortia funded for the responsible innovation research programme (NWO-MVI)

An important contribution of NWO-MVI approach to the topsectors

2 February 2018

How to optimise human-robot collaboration in logistic warehouses, which ethical, legal and societal issues play a role in new ways for cancer diagnostics and screening, and how can we develop a new assessment model for promoting social acceptance of sustainable energy policies? Six consortia of researchers and public and private partnes will investigate these and other complex issues with funding of NWO and their partners. The approach of the NWO-MVI programme will lead their research.

In the NWO programme Responsible innovation ethical and social issues are identified at an early stage of a (technological) innovation and taking these into account in the design process will lead to responsible innovations that enjoy broad social consensus. The six consortia that will start with funding of NWO-MVI, will investigate issues relevant for the top sectors.

An overview of the projects:

Working 'with' or 'against' the machine? Optimizing human-robot collaboration in logistic warehouses - Dr P.M. (Pascale) le Blanc (TU Eindhoven)

Robots have entered our warehouses, and are there to stay! The implications are significant. Thus far, little attention has been paid to social factors in the implementation of advanced robotisation. Our research investigates how logistic warehouse employees can maintain their well-being and a sense of meaning in a robotised work-environment.

Partners: Access Business Group, Vanderlande Industries B.V., Ingram Micro CFS Technology B.V.

Epigenome-wise: ethical, legal and societal issues of new assays for DNA-methylation in cancer diagnostics and screening - Dr L.L.E. Bolt (Erasmus MC)

The development of epigenomics technologies raises ethical and legal questions surrounding the handling of research participants and data. In the future, epigenomic cancer screening based on blood might become possible. The project will explore the ethical implications of this application and determine the conditions for a responsible epigenomic screening programme.

Partners: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Center, DDL Diagnostic Laboratories (DDL), Centre for Population Screening (CvB) at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Center for Genomics and Policy (CGP) at McGill University in Canada

Learning from user practices! Towards a joint creation of a socially robust practice of biomarker technology in healthcare -
Dr L. Krabbenborg (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Molecular biomarker tests contribute to early diagnostics and personalized medicine. However, little is known about how these tests are used by healthcare professionals and patients, including the ethical and legal dilemmas they experience. We will study several pilot studies, aiming to provide advice on the responsible embedding of this technology.

Partners: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Center, Centre for Human Drug Research, Janssen Research & Development, MDxHealth, Bogaerts & Groenen advocaten, Radboud Biobank, Novartis Pharma B.V.

Just Editing? A Comparative Responsible Innovation Approach to Animal Genome Editing - Prof. P.M. Macnaghten (Wageningen University & Research)

‘Genome-editing’ offers great potential to address societal challenges in animal husbandry but only if development is aligned with ethical and societal needs and values. In this project we develop a responsible innovation approach to guide the development of the technology and support  decisionmaking processes for scientists, breeding companies and policymakers.

Partners: University Utrecht, Hendrix Genetics Research, Technology & Services B.V., Topigs Norsvin Research Center B.V.,  CRV BV, Cobb Europe Ltd.

Designing a regulatory framework for citizen-friendly data communication by public actors - Prof. A.C.M. Meuwese (Tilburg University)     

Public bodies have lots of data, but administrative law encourages them insufficiently to share these data with citizens in a comprehensible and meaningful way. This project explores new legal approaches to optimize data communication by public bodies and to help citizens in interpreting these data, in particular through visualization tools.

Partners: Deloitte Legal B.V., Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn N.V., Political Inzights B.V., Waterschap Aa en Maas, MagnaView

Participatory Value Evaluation: a new assessment model for promoting social acceptance of sustainable energy policies - Dr N. Mouter LL.M. (Technical University Delft)

This research further develops Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE): a new assessment model for sustainable energy policies. We investigate the extent to which PVE: 1) allows for the inclusion of citizens’ ethical considerations in quantitative real-world economic policy assessment; 2) contributes to citizens’ acceptance of decisions on sustainable energy policies.

Partners: Free University Amsterdam, Eduardo Mondlane University Mozambique, Center of Sustainable Development Goals Studies Universitas Padjadjaran Indonesia, University of CapeTown  South Afrika, Lund University Sweden, WU Vienna Austria, ITS Leeds, Wageningen University & Research, Twynstra Gudde Mobiliteit en Infrastructuur B.V., Decisio BV, Harmelink Consulting, Greenvis Energy Solutions, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Waternet (Waterschap Amstel Gooi en Vecht), Koninklijke VolkerWessels nv, Quintel Intelligence, Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Enpuls, AMS (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced metropolitan Solutions), Municipality of Amsterdam

More information

Responsible Innovation and the Topsectors

The responsible innovation approach has become a tried and tested formula. NWO Responsible Innovation research for innovations within the top sectors that is tackled in a socially responsible manner will not hinder the growth and opportunities in the market but can instead accelerate these. As the ethical and societal aspects have already been taken into account during the design phase, complex and costly adjustments in retrospect can be prevented and opportunities for better products and services arise. The responsible innovation approach therefore offers many opportunities for the top sectors and industry. This is why the Responsible Innovation programme has a prominent position in all of the top sectors.

Platform for Responsible Innovation

The importance of the NWO Responsible Innovation programme is widely recognised, thanks to the experience and expertise gained and with the help of the NWO-MVI community. In 2016, the research programme developed into a platform for responsible innovation to provide information, inspiration and contacts for researchers, companies, government bodies and societal organisations.

Source: NWO