For years now, TECNALIA, as an applied research centre, has been generating advanced technological solutions in collaboration with companies and, on many occasions, with the support of competitive public programmes to promote Research, Development and Innovation. However, these technological solutions have often been oriented towards single problems, generally business with low impact, analysing possible applications in other social spheres. However, these aspects are changing rapidly, especially the COVID19 crisis we are living in can reorder society in a dramatic way, but crisis moments also present opportunities: we are already reorienting our perspectives while there is an ever growing conviction of the need for Science, Technology and Innovation systems to contribute to respond to global challenges.
Although there are some existing organisational individual practices related to RRI, there is no institutional discourse of responsible innovation. Our SHAPE LAB aims to systematically introduce and implement RRI principles in the functioning which will contribute to the development of practices policies and the understanding of this concept. Shape lab will be a group of experts in Social Aspects of Technology that will provide integral RRI support to researchers and their working groups. The idea is to include RRI aspects in our Technological Departments' research and development projects including the societal challenges perspective and facilitate the practical solutions. The key lies in helping them in the use of participatory methods, educating in science, making the process and its results transparent and accessible, having an ethical attitude and promoting equal opportunities.
We are proposing an organizational solution on how to create an RRI institutional discourse and service in line with institutional/structural change. From now the first steps in our Lab have started with an internal and external communication campaign to understand and raise awareness of RRI and its importance. For this purpose, the first workshop meeting took place virtually and addressed in a theoretical and practical way what the implications of the RRI are for researchers and research centers, with the aim of promoting discussion and reflection on this new mode of relationship between science and society.