CROSS program 2022 invites proposals in responsible innovation

CROSS 2022, Responsible Innovation © iStock photo, credits: ihsanyildizli

CROSS 2022, Responsible Innovation © iStock photo, credits: ihsanyildizli

The interdisciplinary Collaborative Research on Science and Society (CROSS) program in the College of Humanities is now accepting project proposals, on the theme of responsible innovation, which unite researchers at EPFL and the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

The CROSS program aims to support research projects that deal with current issues in society and technology, and that bring together EPFL and UNIL.

Through an annual call for proposals, the program provides competitive grants to support new seed research endeavors that have the potential to grow into full-scale research projects. Candidates are invited to apply on the CROSS website by August 20th, 2021.

Between "can" and "should" 

Engineering sciences and technologies have multiplied the human capacity to understand and transform reality. We are able to realize plenty of projects long thought impossible: landing on Mars, transforming the human genome, changing the way the climate is working. But should we carry out these projects?

The question of the desirability of these projects is a crucial one for sciences and for society as a whole. Values such as prosperity, justice, respect for human beings and for the environment are at the core of these societal questions.

This value-based questioning applies to all engineering sciences and technologies. It raises the question of the objectives of technological innovations, but also its methods. The challenge bears upon the “why”, but also upon the “how”. For life sciences, data-based technologies or climate engineering, these questions are crucial.

In the meantime, virtually all human and social sciences address these values-based challenges and could contribute to identifying, framing and addressing these key societal issues. Economics, law, psychology, history, social sciences, political sciences, philosophy all contribute to the investigations on the conditions of just and responsible technological innovations.

Until August 20th, CROSS welcomes proposals addressing interdisciplinary research questions tied to responsible innovation. Proposals must come from joint UNIL-EPFL teams, which bring together specialists in the human and social sciences on the one hand, with specialists from life sciences, natural sciences or engineering on the other. Projects are encouraged to involve stakeholders of innovation, citizens and other concerned groups in the research process.

Up to six projects will be selected, with a maximum of CHF 60,000 awarded per project, divided between EPFL and UNIL. Selected projects will be notified in October, 2021.

For complete application information, please click here.