The role of participation in the responsible innovation framework for biofuels projects: Can it be assessed?

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Abstract

The growth in biofuels’ investment brings with it concerns about the social and environmental impacts of the sector. Several tools and frameworks have been used to address these concerns, including the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework. This paper analyzes whether this framework can be applied in contexts where local culture and values shape differently the freedom of speech and engagement, such as in developing countries in which biofuel innovation projects are often implemented. A literature review focused on eight case studies of other authors was used to explore the role of “participation” as a structural element of the RRI framework and the impact of its absence where effective participation in the innovation development process is not possible. In conclusion, we highlight how this inspirational normative framework, designed to influence innovation, is misused to judge its impacts. More than that, the conclusions of such misused applications reflect more the difficulties involved in applying guidelines than the responsible character of the innovation, whose impacts are usually defined upfront materially and measurably.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10581
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Biofuels
  • Effective participation
  • Inclusion
  • Institutions
  • Responsible research and innovation

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