Shale gas extraction is controversial because its supporters and opponents disagree when it comes to standards and design criteria. More attention should be paid to this in discourse and policy.
The rapid expansion of drone technology makes it important to develop a toolkit that connects ethical and societal analysis within the design and testing phase of new drone technologies.
This research is aimed at socio-technical designs and business models that facilitate the development of smart urban energy systems, for example in the city of Amsterdam.
Policy makers welcome drip irrigation as an ideal way to reduce water scarcity and poverty. This project, focusing on Burkina Faso and Morocco, found a gap between these high expectations and reality and focused on understanding why this is not made known. Only few smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa continued using the low-cost version of the technology after external support ended. Besides, only some farmers who adopt and use the technology realise water savings, whereas increases in productivity often come at high social and environmental costs.
How to make sure that the nightlife in our cities is safe, but also fun? This project showed that various measures are required to ensure socially-responsible video surveillance.
This project develops design guidelines to responsibly govern the institutional and ethical aspects of local bedside development and in-hospital production of personalised medicines.
A great deal of attention is given to alternatives to animal testing, both in politics and in the health and life sciences sector. A new way of carrying out medical research projects could reduce animal testing while benefitting health and well-being.
More and more medical care can be provided remotely. This project identified factors that positively influence the trust that patients have in telecare innovations, and therefore their success.
The potato is a crop that is difficult and slow to improve through breeding. A revolutionary new method holds great promises for global food security and the export position of the Netherlands.
Toilets that are used as a shed, hydraulic pumps that rust away, unused … A ‘toolbox’ helps design products that really do improve the well-being of people in developing countries.
Individual, public and commercial interests with respect to 'Big Data' sometimes conflict. How to strike a balance? This project develops a regulatory and institutional framework.
This project proposes two tools for achieving a balance between surveillance by technological devices and control by / autonomy of patients and nurses with telecare applications.
Strong growth is taking place in the production of renewable energy. Changes made now to the electricity market can ensure that the transition to a sustainable energy society continues in a responsible manner.
New technologies like wind mills and e-vehicles require turning our electricity networks into ‘smart grids’. Examples of values relevant for a successful and responsible transition to smart grids are privacy and reliability.
Consumers over-use unhealthy products, while industry continues to supply these products. The researchers concluded that government should do more to stimulate easy access to the market for suppliers of healthy products, while at the same time improving the ability of consumers to make good choices by campaigns, education and easier access to information.
Many parents are concerned about online bullying on social media, and an innovation like the cyberbuddy can help children who are the victims of such bullying.
Patients who have run out of standard treatment options may get early access to investigational drugs. This project determines the ethical and societal conditions for a responsible design of services to facilitate early access.
With the ageing of the population, the number of falls involving an elderly person is increasing. The result is a decrease in mobility and an increase in healthcare costs. Can innovation prevent this?
Lifestyle related diseases - like obesity, heart diseases and diabetes type 2 - form a major societal challenge. This project investigates the effectiveness of logos in preventing these diseases.
A system of national electronic patient records (Dutch acronym EPD) could improve the quality and efficiency of health care. A prerequisite for successful implementation is the confidence of healthcare providers in this system.
Incremental innovations in small producers’ clusters in Vietnamese villages can reduce poverty, but also have adverse effects such as pollution. This project led to instruments and recommendations to support local policy makers.
Water governance requires dealing with conflicting interests and functions. A new toolkit will facilitate joint decision making by putting emphasis on the shared values underlying conflicts.
With the introduction of new information technologies, military personnel are increasingly working together in large networks. This project examined how to ensure socially-responsible operations within this context.
Successfully developing and implementing smart grids in rural India requires paying careful attention to socio-ethical factors.
Responsible innovation in offshore wind energy requires taking moral values into account in the design phase. As a first step towards such ‘value sensitive design’ this short project developed a theoretical framework to identify relevant moral values and possible value conflicts. This framework invites reflection on both technological and institutional design. It distinguishes between three perspectives on acceptability. Previous problems with the acceptance of wind parks made industrial partners eager to join the project.
More and better cognitive enhancement drugs are to be expected in the near future. When using those professionals could better improve or safeguard our health and security. Yet even if these drugs are effective and medically safe, they should not become the ‘new normal’ out of concern for people’s autonomy and freedom.
Truck drivers appreciate their freedom and autonomy on the road, but automated trucks are safer and more sustainable - so better for society. Drivers need to be willing to share control over their vehicle though. This can be achieved by using persuasive technology. Drivers are found to be more inclined to share control over their vehicle if the persuasive system is coupled to a virtual driver similar to them. However, to prevent unethical manipulation that ignores the driver’s autonomy, certain guidelines need to be followed during design and implementation of the persuasive system.
People often respond emotionally to proposed sustainable innovations, for example when resisting the siting of windmills. This project develops an approach to take such emotions constructively into account in order to develop responsible innovations.
If we are to achieve a bio-based economy, various parties in the food production chain need to work together on innovation. This project describes what needs to be done to achieve this.
Responsible innovation requires pro-actively assessing and carefully evaluating all relevant values. Controversies arise from value conflicts between stakeholders. This project develops a method to link formal assessment tools - such as cost-benefit analysis - to informal assessment as found in societal debates. In this way all relevant values can be taken into account.
Pathogenic agents - that are important to life sciences - can also be used to develope biological weapons. This project developed recommendations on how to deal with this potential threat.
Biofuels were once introduced as a sustainable energy source, but became heavily criticised for their negative effects on the global poor and their food security.
Palliative care at home is only possible in more complex cases if GPs are supported by palliative specialists. This project showed that this can be done in the Netherlands by using video consultation. Elderly patients had no trouble using the technology, and the contact was experienced as positive. One condition, however, is that there must be a clear distribution of responsibilities between care providers. In Nigeria, however, problems were encountered with this technology.
Sensors and computer applications can be used to create smart cities with a high standard of living. In this project, an ethical framework is developed for such a city.
‘Persuasive technology’ in people’s home might lead to reducing energy consumption. Essential for success is the integration of sound technology, effective persuasive principles and attention to ethical values.
Military operations rely increasingly on complex, intelligent combat systems. International humanitarian law puts limitations on when they can be used. The researchers clarify what ‘meaningful human control’ is and provide a general direction for the designing-in of human responsibility into combat systems.
Databases help the police and judiciary to fight crime. Data mining, however, should not result in ethnic profiling or discrimination. This project researched how discrimination on the basis of data mining by the police and judiciary can be prevented.The researchers demonstrated that the algorithms currently being used lead to a number of discriminatory effects. Simply removing sensitive data, such as gender and ethnicity, did not solve the issue. Newly developed algorithms tested with real data, however, do prevent discrimination but also provide a realistic picture of the distribution of crime and the risk that people will commit an offence.
Based on factors determining willingness to participate in health biobanks, this project develops new, responsible methods to enhance commitment and participation rates.
In the Netherlands over 45 million male chicks annually are killed shortly after hatching. This is ethically problematic and raises public discussions. This project looked into alternative solutions.
This project will deliver a ‘governance roadmap’ towards various types of community-based local sustainable energy systems, plus insight in stakeholder positions, opportunities and limitations.
Nature conservation need not be at odds with poverty alleviation, as sustainable tourism can benefit both. Europe, too, can learn from this.
How an Intellectual Property approach can advance fair plant variety rights in Sub-Saharan Africa – without the threat of a prohibition on exchanging seeds.
New Technology Based Firms (NTBFs) may help to address climate change. This project investigates opportunities and threats for NTBFs and develops a tool to identify relevant socio-ethical factors.
This project further develops a new EEG-based prognostic technology for comatose patients, identifying relevant socio-ethical values and how to pro-actively take them into account in the innovation process.
For such a sweeping transition as a bio-based economy to be realised, connections need to be established and partnerships created. In this project, recommendations are made to help achieve this.
Using rice straw and other biomass for the production of biogas raises technical and economic challenges, but also fundamental ethical and social questions. This project investigates how industrial interests and farmers’ needs in India can be integrated in the design of a system for sustainable biogas production on the basis of rice straw.
Thanks to new imaging techniques, we are able to understand more and more about how the brain works. However, responsible neuroimaging innovation requires a dialogue between science and society.
New design and business model approaches will enable Dutch companies to develop successful frugal water and health innovations in Africa, both from a commercial and a socio-ethical perspective. By collaborating with local entrepreneurs in Africa, Dutch companies can develop frugal innovations in a profitable manner.
To realise responsible system innovations in agriculture, diverse private partners need to collaborate. Social learning is a key to success.
Citizens are organising themselves to take over tasks from government and industry in an increasing number of sectors. Crowd-based initiatives must be organised properly for these innovations to be socially responsible.
How can automated vehicles contribute to safer and more efficient traffic without loss of human control? Automated and semi-automated vehicles are in the limelight. According to many, it is a matter of how we will transition to automated driving rather than when. But how many tasks can a vehicle safely take over from a driver? And who is responsible when things go wrong? This project focuses on socially responsible transition to automated vehicles and will develop guidelines for this. Developing a theory of “meaningful human control” of automatic vehicles is central in this research project.
“Digital Operation Room Assistant” DORA was designed to prevent technical errors in increasingly complex operation rooms. A clever design solved a dilemma that prevented DORA from being used effectively.
New digital technologies provide social and economic opportunities for the logistics of accommodating refugees. The researchers are developing an expert system to optimise the logistics process in a socially responsible manner, taking into account the ethical and social aspects and the interests of all stakeholders.
Consumers are often wary of food innovations. How then can food technologists ensure a meaningful dialogue with consumers as to what is “good food”, in order to develop better products?
To increase the responsible use of water, a new wastewater treatment system will be designed and put into practice.
The rapid development of smartphone technology creates great opportunities for supporting a healthier lifestyle. This project develops ways through which users can trust health support systems and are willing to use them without this affecting their intrinsic motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Because of the many issues surrounding natural gas, which is currently used to heat buildings, new heating systems will have to be designed to sustainably heat buildings in the future. This project will establish guidelines for the design of socially responsible, sustainable heating systems that can count on broad public support.
Flames spewing from the kitchen tap, injection needles in our food. Some of the images traveling across the internet and social media can be frightening. We have to take them seriously and develop creative and informative new images together with supporters and opponents.
Which institutional and administrative changes are necessary in the gas industry to achieve a responsible energy system? Which factors determine the level of public support for solutions in the gas industry that contribute to a sustainable energy transition?
To achieve our climate objectives, we must ensure that many more biobased products become available. Involving farmers in the production of these products is vital.
How can we include citizens’ ethical considerations in real-world economic policy analysis of sustainable energy policies? This project develops a new assessment tool that aims to do exactly this.
How can robotization in logistic warehouses be utilized and developed in a way that does not conflict with workers’ sense of meaning in work, work motivation, and general well-being?
When existing medicines no longer offer a cure, people want new medicines as soon as possible. At the same time, they want the medicines to be safe. How should the “conditional approval” of medicines take place in a socially responsible way? There is currently the possibility of rapid, “conditional approval” of medicines for severe and as yet untreatable diseases. However, a medicine’s efficacy and safety must be monitored properly after it is put on the market. This project demonstrated that there is much to be gained by actively involving patients and physicians in the monitoring process. Success factors such as short lines of communication and a shared story about the desirability of the process were identified.
The developments taking place in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's are controversial. It is therefore high time that we examined how to achieve responsible innovation in this area.
Public bodies can take citizens much more into account in data communication. How to incentivize them to make their data communication citizen-friendly in a meaningful way?
Genome editing promises significant benefits for animal husbandry, but also raises important ethical and societal questions. This project aims to examine the conditions, if any, under which the technology can become embedded responsibly and acceptably in society.
Under which ethical, legal and societal conditions can biomarker tests be embedded in oncological and psychiatric healthcare? How can these conditions be taken on board in the further development of biomarker tests?
A new technology on genome-wide DNA methylation profiling could improve the ability to predict disease progression and treatment outcomes of cancer, but also raises ethical and legal issues regarding, for example, autonomy, unsolicited findings, and the harms and benefits of screening tests.