Responsible Innovation: A Complementary View from Industry with Proposals for Bridging Different Perspectives

Sustainability. 2017;9(10):1719 DOI 10.3390/su9101719


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Sustainability

ISSN: 2071-1050 (Online)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering: Environmental effects of industries and plants | Technology: Mechanical engineering and machinery: Renewable energy sources | Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Environmental sciences

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

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Marc Dreyer (FUTOPEDIA, Champsot 28, CH-1822 Sonzier, Switzerland)

Luc Chefneux (Académie royale de Belgique, rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels, Belgium)

Anne Goldberg (Corporate Research & Innovation, Solvay Campus, 310 rue de Ransbeek, 1120 Bruxelles, Belgium)

Joachim von Heimburg (jvhinnovation GmbH, 4125 Riehen, Switzerland)

Norberto Patrignani (Politecnico of Torino, Via S.G.Bosco 4, 10015 Ivrea, Italy)

Monica Schofield (TUTECH INNOVATION GMBH, Harburger Schloßstr. 6-12, 21079 Hamburg, Germany)

Chris Shilling (The Florin Partnership, Temple Ewell CT16 3DA, UK)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper presents a consensus view on Responsible Innovation by a group of industry practitioners, each with high level management experience in driving innovation from within industrial companies operating in different sectors. The authors argue that, while a substantial body of academic research on Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) of potential interest now exists, it is failing to have impact in the industrial community, where it is understood to be partially targeted, because many of the concepts, tools and methodologies are not aligned with current industrial practices. This is leading to a misconception as to where industry stands on topics addressed by RRI and difficulties in forwarding a dialogue that is meaningful to both parties. The need to distinguish between processes relating to research and innovation is argued, together with the view that research into RRI should encompass more of the on-going work being carried out in related fields such as the role of companies in society, the debate around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Shared Value (CSV), responsible digital innovation, the elements of ethical leadership, sustainable investment policies and work on establishing social impact factors as well as public concerns on innovation. Directions for an alignment of the terminology and concepts are also proposed. This paper is to be viewed as an attempt at bridging perspectives with the aim of finding common ground to develop the field of RRI further so that it provides effective concepts, tools and methodologies to guide industrial innovation towards better societal outcomes.