Joining Efforts for Responsible Research and Innovation (JERRI)

© Heyko Stöber

The aim of JERRI was to contribute to the dissemination of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the European Research Area.

For this purpose, a process was designed and implemented in the two largest applied research institutions in Europe, Fraunhofer in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands, in order to sustainably anchor RRI practices in the organisation. In particular, the aspects of ethical reflection, participation of social actors and citizens, gender equality/gender-sensitive research and open access were addressed.

Both organisations first identified the current situation for each aspect. Then, together with internal and external stakeholders, they developed ambitious long-term goals and defined pilot projects that were implemented within the project to initiate change.

Examples of JERRI pilot activities at Fraunhofer include the development of the Fordatis system for the provision of research data, the ethical evaluation of internal research projects and the implementation of a "Citizens Café". The Fraunhofer pilots are documented here.

At TNO, as part of JERRI, training against implicit gender biases was undertaken by all senior management, social stakeholders were included in the Advisory Board and an online game was developed to help employees reflect on ethical dilemmas. The TNO pilots are documented here.

The two organisations exchanged information regularly and developed a detailed manual for other RTOs with similar concerns from the "lessons learned". In addition, special user briefs with recommendations for actors from politics and industry were developed with the aim of jointly building "pioneer coalitions" for responsible research and innovation.

The theoretical framework was the concept of "Deep Institutionalisation" developed by Prof. Sally Randles at Manchester Metropolitan University. An accompanying evaluation was carried out by the IHS in Vienna.

In parallel, experiences at two international institutions – Arizona State University in the USA and the Academy of Sciences in China – were collected and fed into the process.

The project was actively supported by an advisory board with proven expertise in the dimensions.

  • development of specific RRI goals within Fraunhofer and TNO, based on existing good practices, and in close interaction with stakeholders, for the following five key dimensions: Ethics, Societal Engagement, Gender Equality and Gender in Research and Innovation Content, Science Education, Open Access
  • set up of action plans for each key dimension followed by the realization of RRI practices in pilot cases
  • distribution of good practices among internal and external stakeholders and further RTOs
  • international mutual learning on good RRI practices at both the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Arizona State University (ASU)

The tasks of Fraunhofer ISI were:

  • the leading of the overall project
  • the coordination of the process at Fraunhofer (WP 1,2,4,6)
  • the leading of the activities for ethics reflection in Fraunhofer
  • the leading of the international learning process (WP5)


06/2016 − 05/2019


European Commission


  • Fraunhofer ISI (Coordinator)
  • Fraunhofer IAO
  • Fraunhofer IRB
  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT
  • Fraunhofer Zentrale
  • TNO Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester
  • Institute for Advanced Studies IHS
  • Manchester Metropolitan University