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Piloting RRI in Industry: a roadmap for tranSforMAtive technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PRISMA (Piloting RRI in Industry: a roadmap for tranSforMAtive technologies)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-07-31

New technologies like nanotechnology, synthetic biology, internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles have an increasing impact on our everyday life, our society, and the environment. This means that companies have to innovate responsibly and to include societal values – such as privacy, safety, sustainability, fair distribution of risks and benefits, safety or inclusiveness – in the development strategy of innovative products. This is known as ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI).

The main objectives of PRISMA were:
1. Integration of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies of 8 companies;
2. Providing evidence on how the RRI approach and attention for the gender dimension can improve the innovation process and its outcomes;
3. The development and testing of a roadmap that helps industries to implement RRI in their innovation processes as part of their CSR policy in order to deal with uncertain and sometimes partly unknown risks and public and ethical concerns of transformative technologies;
4. Broad uptake of this roadmap by companies through, industry associations, CSR and branch organizations as well as governments and CSOs.

The PRISMA project has conducted pilot studies with eight companies in order to help them to better integrate RRI in their innovation process and business practices and to align this with their CSR-polices. In addition, consultations took place with a wide range of other stakeholders from research, industry, policy makers, civil society organizations and standardization bodies.These has resulted in good practices on RRI and a systematic way to implement it (roadmap/pre-standard).

Jointly with companies, the EU-funded project PRISMA has developed a new methodology (‘RRI Roadmap’), a set of RRI-Key Performance Indicators, a toolkit and an online professional education course for the implementation of RRI by industry. The methodology is aligned with existing standards and policies on risk and innovation management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The six-steps methodology (figure) to design the RRI Roadmap is based on a set of acknowledged RRI principles:
• Reflection and anticipation: analysis of ethical, legal and social impacts
• Inclusiveness: stakeholder engagement
• Responsiveness: monitoring, learning and adaptive mechanisms to address societal values
Outcomes of the PRISMA experience, in a nutshell

Guidelines:
• Guidelines to Innovate Responsibly: The PRISMA roadmap to integrate Responsible Research and Innovation in industrial strategies (full version and executive brief)
• Key Performance Indicators:
• CEN Workshop Agreement

Case studies and testimonials with companies and other actors:
• Responsible innovation in practice: experiences from industry
• The PRISMA company pilot roadmaps
• The pilot experience: testimonials and videos
• The stakeholder dialogues experiences

Professional training and tools
• Online course: Responsible Innovation: Building Tomorrow’s Responsible Firms
• PRISMA RRI toolkit

All these are available on the website (https://www.rri-prisma.eu/) and have been widely disseminated
The application of transformative technologies typically implies a certain degree of uncertainty both from a technical and societal point of view and this is the initial driver for companies to look at RRI approaches. However, the reasons why a company could decide to apply a structural and long-term approach to RRI are much broader, there is a complexity of reasons and factors influencing the choice of a company, often not related to the specific technology concerned.

The PRISMA experience has shown that there are also significant barriers for RRI uptake, including the lack of expertise, limited resources, challenges to commit all functions within the company and the project partners and value chain actors, unclear added value of RRI approaches, lack of long-term vision.

RRI implementation is context-sensitive, depending from the sector, technology, type of company and business. RRI actions involves different company functions, and could have both tangible and intangible, short and long-term impacts at different levels.

The methodology to develop a vision and an RRI action plan envisaged by PRISMA, based on a case-by-case and expert-driven approach, has been successful in the eight pilot cases of the project. The added value of this process, is to equip companies with a practical and effective way to bring RRI into their innovation process, whatever are their sector or dimensions and their knowledge about RRI practices. The PRISMA roadmap could help companies to introduce structural changes in their usual business practices, toward more anticipatory, inclusive and responsive research and innova-tion practices.

The roadmap methodology developped in PRISMA clearly extends beyond the current state-of-the-art. It aims to helps companies to develop safe and societally and environmentally responsible products. It helps companies to grow their business, attract the best talent, and meet the demands of investors. The RRI Roadmap assists them in identifying the most significant ethical, legal and societal impacts of innovative products. It also helps companies to integrate this in their Cooperative Social Responsibility and innovation strategies policies, and to build trust.

The roadmap has also been used to launch the development of a ‘ pre-standard consensus document at EU level’ (also known as ‘CEN CWA’). The CWA will last until the end of 2019 and is open to all interested parties. In this way we expect an impact on a better uptake of the RRI approach by the European industry.
Cover PRISMA executive brief roadmap
Roadmap methodology
Picture used in PRISMA communication materials