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3DNovations showcases Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) at European Conference

The social enterprise and its charitable arm Autus have been presenting their innovative 3DNovations platform and services, which help people with autism learn skills, find work and become independent, at the inaugural European Foundations Awards for Responsible Research and Innovation in Brussels today.  The event brought together experts in scientific and social research, representatives of government and civil society from across Europe to promote research that involves its intended beneficiaries and serves broader societal goals.  In addition to sending a team to the event, 3DNovations also live-streamed it to a virtual world replica of the venue for their colleagues to watch. 

3DNovations has been commended as a model of RRI by the European Foundations for the way it uses RRI tools and methodologies to create a more inclusive society by unlocking the ideas and talents of people with autism, increasing their employment and improving industrial competitiveness with a more diverse workforce.  3DNovations was the only UK candidate, the only finalist representing industry and was shortlisted alongside 14 other projects from across Europe, many of them much larger and better funded. 

Nicola Herbertson, founder of, spoke in the plenary roundtable session about the need to increase citizens' awareness of and active involvement in RRI to tackle social problems. 

Prof Steve Miller of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London, responsible for promoting RRI in the UK, said: “It’s been fabulous to have 3DNovations and Hao2 as part of the UK Hub for Responsible Research and Innovation here at University College London. They show how responding to the needs of users and employees – in this case, people with autism – can open up possibilities for inclusion, for harnessing the skills of people who are often left out, and for creating new business. Nikki Herbertson is truly inspirational in the work she has pioneered and we are pleased that 3DNovations made to the finals of this prestigious competition.” 

Nicola Herbertson said: “There are amazing ideas and hidden talent in all our diverse communities.  We are delighted to have had the opportunity to show how people with autism can have a leadership role in developing RRITools like 3DNovations to unlock them. Being shortlisted with the 14 other finalists and participating in this event has been an amazing experience and an important recognition of the skills and potential of people with autism. We look forward to collaborating across the EU and internationally to create more opportunities for people with autism and complex needs through responsible research and innovation in the future.”

Local authorities, job centres, social enterprises or voluntary organisations wishing to bring the benefits of 3DNovations' empowering technologies to people with autism in their area can do so via 3DNovations' parent company  Find out more at or email info<at> 

People with autism who want to purchase courses for themselves, participate in virtual job clubs or sign up for work-focused mentoring can do so through's charitable arm Autus (  

For more information, please contact Nicola Herbertson on +447983384213 or nikki<at>