Scientific research and innovation are now more than ever fundamental for human development. As well as other human activities, Legal research and Legal Innovation must respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene. Universities, NGOs, businesses, decision making bodies, as well as other public and private institutions are developing research that is relevant for their missions and goals.
Yet, academic institutions have a higher level of responsibility for guiding their research and innovation aimed at the sustainable development goals. The University research ecosystems are designed to support advanced research and trigger innovation. At the EU level, the Union has put together organizational and financial resources to support responsible research and innovation.
Responsible research and innovation is a central concept in scientific research policy in the European Union, which corresponds to the idea of doing science with and for society through individual or collective research oriented towards the sustainable development goals. Since 2015, the European Commission has developed a set of indicators for the identification, promotion and monitoring of responsible research and innovation. But these indicators are generic and not specific for Law.
Academic institutions can no longer afford to support research and innovation whose results are not passed on to decision makers, are not transferred to the production system and are not proven to be beneficial for society. University research ecosystems must assign their scarce resources (human, financial, material and time – perhaps the scarcest resource of all), for future oriented research and innovation in order to achieve cutting edge results in the challenging times we are living.
In this context, the foremost purpose of the current project on ReLeRIS is to develop guidelines for future legal research and legal innovation that corresponds to the European vision on ethics, societal engagement, gender equality, open access and science education.
The focus of the project is the process dimension. The purpose is to develop methodological guidelines for developing legal research and legal innovation that proves to be “responsible”, reflecting diversity & inclusiveness, anticipation & reflexivity, openness & transparency, and responsiveness & adaptation. Additionally, the purpose is also to gather materials on concepts, good practices and examples of display state of the art legal research or ground-breaking legal innovation on burning or fracturing legal issues and ethical dilemmas.