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The turbulent age of innovation
Schomberg, Lucien von; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
Synthese (2018). - ISSN 0039-7857 - 17 p.
Commercialized innovation - History of innovation - Innovation - Philosophy of innovation - Responsible research and innovation - Technological innovation
The concept of innovation has entered a turbulent age. On the one hand, it is uncritically understood as ‘technological innovation’ and ‘commercialized innovation.’ On the other hand, ongoing research under the heading responsible research and innovation (RRI) suggests that current global issues require innovation to go beyond its usual intent of generating commercial value. However, little thought goes into what innovation means conceptually. Although there is a focus on enabling outcomes of innovation processes to become more responsible and desirable, the technological and commercial nature of these processes is rarely questioned. For these reasons, this paper poses the following research question: what concept of innovation is implicitly taken up by the RRI discourse and what implications does this concept have for the societal purpose of RRI? As a first step, we analyze the extent to which the concept of innovation in the RRI literature is uncritically presupposed to be technological. Subsequently, we examine the diverse meanings innovation has had over time and argue that while innovation originally had a political connotation it is only recently restricted to the meaning of technological innovation. We go on to show that even though the concept of technological innovation can contribute to the societal purpose of RRI, this requires certain conditions that are difficult to guarantee. Consequentially, we argue that future research should explore alternative understandings of innovation that better enable the overall feasibility of the emerging frameworks of RRI.
Addressing climate change in Responsible Research and Innovation : Recommendations for its operationalization
Ligardo-Herrera, Ivan ; Gómez-Navarro, Tomás ; Inigo, Edurne A. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2071-1050
Climate change - Corporate social responsibility - Responsible research and innovation - Sustainable innovation
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has only lately included environmental sustainability as a key area for the social desirability of research and innovation. That is one of the reasons why just a few RRI projects and proposals include environmental sustainability, and Climate Change (CC) in particular. CC is one of the grand challenges of our time and, thus, this paper contributes to the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI. To this end, the tools employed against CC were identified. Tools originated in corporate social responsibility and sustainable innovation which help to operationalize strategies against CC in RRI practice. Complementarily, the latest proposals by RRI projects and actors related to CC were reviewed. The findings of the document analysis and the web review were arranged in a framework intended for research and innovation that has an indirect but relevant negative impact due to CC. Thus, four main strategies for CC prevention in RRI were determined: a voluntary integration of the aims, a life cycle perspective, open access databases and key performance indicators, and stakeholder management. The article is finished acknowledging diverse barriers hindering the operationalization of CC prevention in RRI, and we introduce future avenues for research in this area.
Responsible Research and Innovation in industry-challenges, insights and perspectives
Martinuzzi, André ; Blok, Vincent ; Brem, Alexander ; Stahl, Bernd ; Schönherr, Norma - \ 2018
Sustainability 10 (2018)3. - ISSN 2071-1050
Business ethics - Corporate social responsibility - CSR - Industry - R and D management - Responsible innovation - Responsible research and innovation - RRI - Social innovation - Sustainable innovation
The responsibility of industry towards society and the environment is a much discussed topic, both in academia and in business. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a new concept with the potential to advance this discourse in light of two major challenges industry is facing today. The first relates to the accelerating race to innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. The second concerns the need to maintain public trust in industry through innovations that generate social value in addition to economic returns. This Special Issue provides empirical and conceptual contributions that explore corporate motivations to adopt RRI, the state of implementation of concrete RRI practices, the role of stakeholders in responsible innovation processes, as well as drivers and barriers to the further diffusion of RRI in industry. Overall, these contributions highlight the relevance of RRI for firms of different sizes and sectors. They also provide insights and suggestions for managers, policymakers and researchers wishing to engage with responsibility in innovation. This editorial summarizes the most pertinent conclusions across the individual articles published in this Special Issue and concludes by outlining some fruitful avenues for future research in this space.
Risk analysis and technology assessment in support of technology development : Putting responsible innovation in practice in a case study for nanotechnology
Wezel, Annemarie P. van; Lente, Harro van; Sandt, Johannes J.M. van de; Bouwmeester, Hans ; Vandeberg, Rens L.J. ; Sips, Adrienne J.A.M. - \ 2018
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 14 (2018)1. - ISSN 1551-3793 - p. 9 - 16.
Responsible research and innovation - Risk analysis - Technology assessment
Governments invest in “key enabling technologies,” such as nanotechnology, to solve societal challenges and boost the economy. At the same time, governmental agencies demand risk reduction to prohibit any often unknown adverse effects, and industrial parties demand smart approaches to reduce uncertainties. Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is therefore a central theme in policy making. Risk analysis and technology assessment, together referred to as “RATA,” can provide a basis to assess human, environmental, and societal risks of new technological developments during the various stages of technological development. This assessment can help both governmental authorities and innovative industry to move forward in a sustainable manner. Here we describe the developed procedures and products and our experiences to bring RATA in practice within a large Dutch nanotechnology consortium. This is an example of how to put responsible innovation in practice as an integrated part of a research program, how to increase awareness of RATA, and how to help technology developers perform and use RATA. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;14:9–16.
(Re-)designing higher education curricula in times of systemic dysfunction : a responsible research and innovation perspective
Tassone, Valentina C. ; O’Mahony, Catherine ; McKenna, Emma ; Eppink, Hansje J. ; Wals, Arjen E.J. - \ 2018
Higher education 76 (2018)2. - ISSN 0018-1560 - p. 337 - 352.
Competence - Curricula - Grand sustainability challenges - Higher education - Responsible research and innovation
There is an urgent need to address the grand sustainability challenges of our time, and to explore new and more responsible ways of operating, researching, and innovating that enable society to respond to these challenges. The emergent Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) policy agenda can act as a catalyst towards the development of new and more responsible research and innovation efforts. Inevitably, higher education needs to be closely attuned to this need and agenda, by preparing students to engage in RRI efforts. This paper makes a first step towards guiding the embedding of RRI within higher education. It does so by bringing together academic knowledge with phronesis or practical knowledge about what should be done in an ethical, political, and practical sense. It draws on a literature review and on the reflective practices of partners in the European Commission funded project EnRRICH (Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education), as well as on interviews and case studies gathered as part of the project. The paper suggests elements, especially design principles and a competence framework, for (re)designing curricula and pedagogies to equip higher education students to be and to become responsible actors, researchers, and innovators in a complex world, and to address grand sustainability challenges. In addition, this paper proposes that contemporary higher education teaching and learning policies and strategies, especially those promoting neoliberal agendas and marketized practices, need to adopt a more responsible and responsive ethos to foster the renewal of higher education in times of systemic dysfunction.
Responsibility versus profit : The motives of food firms for healthy product innovation
Garst, Jilde ; Blok, Vincent ; Jansen, Léon ; Omta, Onno S.W.F. - \ 2017
Sustainability 9 (2017)12. - ISSN 2071-1050
Corporate social responsibility - CSR - Food industry - Instrumental motives - Moral motives - Motives - Product innovation - Public health - Responsible research and innovation - RRI
Background: In responsible research and innovation (RRI), innovation is seen as a way in which humankind finds solutions for societal issues. However, studies on commercial innovation show that firms respond in a different manner and at a different speed to the same societal issue. This study investigates what role organizational motives play in the product innovation processes of firms when aiming for socially responsible outcomes. Methods: This multiple-case study investigates the motives of food firms for healthier product innovation by interviewing firms about the organizational motives behind product reformulation and innovation. Results: This study highlights the importance of having both instrumental and moral motives in the innovation process when aiming for socially responsible outcomes, and how both these motives interact and contribute to responsible innovation in industry. Furthermore, the study results question the nature of relational motives as a separate category from the other two categories of motives, as suggested by corporate social responsibility (CSR) scholars. Conclusions: If commercial innovation needs to contribute to solutions for societal issues, the importance of moral motives has to be stressed without annihilating the instrumental objectives of firms. Both motives contribute to the success factors of responsible product innovation in industry.
Lessons for responsible innovation in the business context : A systematic literature review of responsible, social and sustainable innovation practices
Lubberink, Rob ; Blok, Vincent ; Ophem, Johan van; Omta, Onno - \ 2017
Sustainability 9 (2017)5. - ISSN 2071-1050
Entrepreneurship - Governance - Industry - Responsible research and innovation - Social innovation - Sustainability - Sustainable innovation
This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing conceptual debate on responsible innovation, and provides innovation practices and processes that can help to implement responsible innovation in the business context. Based on a systematic literature review of 72 empirical scholarly articles, it was possible to identify, analyse and synthesise empirical findings reported in studies on social, sustainable and responsible innovation practices in the business context. The synthesis of the included articles resulted in a refined framework for responsible innovation in the business context. This framework includes an overview of innovation practices and processes that can enhance the dimensions of responsible innovation: anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion, deliberation, responsiveness and knowledge management. Additionally, knowledge gaps are identified and a research agenda for responsible innovation is proposed. This review can therefore serve as a next step in the theoretical and practical development of responsible innovation in general, and in the business context in particular.