The ETHNA System project is starting off 2022 strong with the release of an updated version of the ETHNA System Concept to be used by the organisations that will pilot its implementation during the lifetime of the project. The Concept acts as a guide to ethical governance of RRI in research and innovation performing organisations (RPOs) and funding organisations (RFOs).

The Guide is the culmination of an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process involving almost 900 external stakeholders from across the world to help revise and validate the first version of the ETHNA System concept. Key findings from the process pointed to the need to create a more adaptable system that addresses two dimensions essential to the institutionalisation of RRI: top-level leadership support and an existing support base. To successfully adapt to these different institutional characteristics, the ETHNA System foresees different models. Implementers can thus choose the level best suited to their internal structure. 

The release of the Guide serves as the basis for the next critical phase of the project – its implementation through Living Labs. The ETHNA System will be demonstrated and verified in four living lab contexts in higher education, research funding, innovation ecosystems, and research centres in 6 different organisations from Spain, Norway, Estonia, Portugal, Bulgaria. In the ETHNA Lab, participants will take part in a co-creation and experimentation process to de­mocratise and improve the elements of the ETHNA System.

Elsa González Esteban, project coordinator and professor of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology of the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló (UJI), states that “on the one hand, the Living Labs will help showcase that positive change is possible with dedicated and thoughtful co-creation with stakeholders. And on the other hand, a diverse stakeholder engagement process in the Living Labs will lead to the inclusion of representatives from each sector in innovation processes, creating results from which all involved stakeholders can benefit.” The outcomes will then feed into the final version of the ETHNA System.

Download the guide here

This deliverable has not yet been reviewed by the European Commission. Its content might therefore change as a result of the review process.