Innovations are no longer seen as purely means of gaining economic growth and technological advancement. The social, cultural, environmental and political aspects of innovations are more widely discussed, which shifts the focus to broad impact and implications of innovations. Business and public sectors activities can cause unanticipated outcomes, also of a harmful nature, such as environmental degradation, health threats, or increase of socio-economic stratification due to intense capital accumulation.

Taking the above into account, the European Union initiative on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is gaining increasingly attention and leverage among the policy makers in addition to academics, as projects and conceptual tools for its’ implementation evolve.

Awareness and mitigation of possible negative outcomes of innovations should be on top of the research concern related to innovation and regional development studies. On the one hand, in both societal and academic discourse, a conviction in the importance of regions and regional policy in supporting innovation activity is rising. On the other hand, adaptation of European regions to global and regional challenges can be addressed by the innovation activity and policy. These interrelations between regions and innovations lead to a challenging but very important question concerning the balance between economic benefits of the region, and social and environmental responsibility.

We are very pleased to inform that one of the leading academic communities in knowledge based regional development had now acquired the Responsibility as a key theme for their conference. For more than a decade the Regional Innovation Policies Conference has been the leading European conference addressing the theme of regional innovation. The 13th Regional Innovation Policies Conference, which will take place in Bergen, Norway on 11-12.10.2018, has chosen this year as the leading topic of the conference: “Responsible Innovation and Regional Development – Expanding the Research Agenda”.

The main goal of the conference is to investigate responsible innovation from the regional perspective, and to critically discuss the role of regions and regional policy in contributing to responsible and sustainable regional development. Following successful conferences in Salzburg (Austria), Santander (Spain), Edinburgh (UK), Grimstad (Norway), Lund (Sweden), Porto (Portugal), San Sebastián (Spain), Stavanger (Norway), Karlsruhe (Germany), Cardiff (Wales), and Santiago de Compostela (Spain), this conference is a venue for researchers, practitioners and policymakers with an interest in regional innovation, regional development and innovation policy.

Our partners from the University of Tampere will take part in the conference, presenting results obtained within the MARIE project. More information on the conference will follow!