Research in social sciences, humanities and arts (SSHA), in combination with natural, medical and technical sciences, can provide further incentives and dimensions to innovation. In times of major societal changes and challenges, soft factors play a crucial role in the introduction of any innovation, giving technical and technological innovation a crucial social dimension. Technological progress is always associated with direct impacts on people, society, security and culture, and vice versa – cultural and social processes create space for technical progress (or stagnation). With the development of new technologies, new issues emerge, especially with respect to ethical, psychological, cognitive, social, legal, economic, security and aesthetic impacts and aspects. The development of new technologies is primarily motivated by the desire to improve the living conditions of the population. However, at the same time it can also pose many risks and have a negative impact on a person, group, community or society. Therefore, it is desirable and necessary to link social sciences and humanities more closely with natural, technical and medical sciences so that potential risks can be identified early. However, it is not only about risks, but also about the opportunities and new challenges that this interdisciplinarity brings to the domains of specialisation. Multidisciplinarity is a pre-requisite for research and innovation to have the desired effects, contribute to bigger competitiveness, avoid negative impacts, and improve people’s lives.
The SSHA research themes under RIS3 are divided into four framework groups:
- Research on the interrelationships between society, technology and innovation
- Addressing 21st century societal challenges associated with emerging technologies
- Conditions/barriers to the application of innovative technologies and practices
- Security Research
SSHA group Research on the relationships between society, technology and innovation
Research into the impact of the socio-cultural environment on technological development and innovation and research on the implications of the application of existing technologies. It will further develop existing research themes that have already been adopted in the past in the Czech Republic and now require further elaboration. Innovative applications of existing solutions are also expected to be presented. These include, among other things, solutions to the impacts of climate change, globalisation and other changes that are or may be manifested in relation to people (their mental health, behaviour, perception, etc.) and society (education policy, social system, labour market, management, administration, public administration, etc.) in the conditions of the Czech Republic.
Examples of research topics:
The impact of existing discourses and attitudes towards the acceptance of new technologies by different social groups, the impact of digitalisation on the human mental health and decision-making, the impact of automation on the labour market, the impact of technology on the growth of inequalities between people, social groups and regions, the impact of technology on the transformation of communication and media, the links between digitalisation and the concept of power, the gradual development of automation in different areas, etc.
SSHA group Addressing 21st century societal challenges associated with emerging technologies
Research focused on completely new research topics with a high degree of novelty and risk. This includes mainly applied research on global trends, research grasping socio-economic opportunities arising from these trends, or arising from experimental deployment of selected technologies. Related issues include the elimination of risks, potential threats, and societal problems associated with the challenges of the 21st century that our society is facing or will face and that are likely to grow in importance during the programming period. It emphasises developing and emerging technologies the development of which has not been fully realised and whose future applications may be radically new.
SSHA group Conditions / barriers to the application of innovative technologies and practices
Research focused on the regulatory, institutional and policy framework for systemic and individual adoption of new approaches with predictable consequences, such as in law, public administration and public policy. Furthermore, research on barriers to the adoption of innovative solutions, processes and practices across application sectors, at the individual, community or societal level. Research on the digital divide, digital exclusion and mechanisms to prevent it; the impact of open-access in science, education and development on national economic development; dual use issues and the potential misuse of technological innovation to the detriment of people and society.
SSHA group Security research
Research focused on eliminating potential security threats caused by new technologies and approaches, on effectively addressing the consequences of existing threats, and research in the field of cyber security.