Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is a nascent concept, promoted actively by the European Union and other policy makers around the world. Hitherto, this concept has been associated primarily with publicly funded activities but given the considerable proportion of research and innovation that is undertaken in the private sector, RRI will be rendered irrelevant unless it is adopted by industry. This paper introduces a private sector perspective of RRI, specifically that of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry, working in the field of healthy ageing. Drawing upon empirical data from 30 in-depth interviews with key industry representatives from across Europe, it explores: (a) the level of awareness of RRI; (b) the drivers and obstacles influencing its implementation; and (c) the factors deemed vital for facilitation of RRI in industry. The findings paint a varied picture, including significant concerns about adoption of RRI in an industry environment where the economic implications of all activities must be considered carefully. However, some companies have found their own ways to balance financial and altruistic goals, suggesting that there is both a willingness and a place for an RRI-type governance framework within the private sector.
- responsible innovation