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Evidence and opportunities for responsible innovation in SMEs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COMPASS (Evidence and opportunities for responsible innovation in SMEs)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-04-30

In the past decade, European research and innovation policy has increased its efforts to align scientific excellence with the societal relevance of research and innovation. The concept of “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) was established in European research and innovation policy in 2010, and has since become a cross-cutting issue in the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. RRI is a term coined within the remit of EU research and innovation policy and has thus to a large extent been discussed as an EU policy issue. This requires that the concept be translated to other contexts, especially the much more focused space of industry. Within this space, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have even more specific needs and logics, which RRI needs to link up with, if the concept and practice be successfully integrated in research and innovation activities, management, and outcomes. The objective of the COMPASS project was to make RRI accessible, comprehensible and feasible for SMEs. This was realized through the co-creation and pilot-testing of methods and tools that enable SMEs to create their own visions and roadmaps of RRI – for their particular sector and for their particular business context. In addition, SMEs and innovation support organisations were provided with tailored, easly applicable tools and resources; including a Self Check Tool as well as teaching and training materials. All project output is available on the project website at https://innovation-compass.eu/.
The overall objective of the COMPASS project was to make responsible innovation accessible, comprehensible and feasible for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This was realized through the co-creation and pilot-testing of methods and tools that enable SMEs to create their own visions and roadmaps of responsible innovation for their particular sector and for their particular business context. In addition, SMEs and innovation support organisations were provided with tailored, easily applicable tools and resources; including a self-check tool and teaching and training materials. The COMPASS project emphasized the approach that the concept of responsible innovation had something to offer to businesses rather than something to impose on them. Starting from a sound conceptual basis, the project facilitated the co-creation and piloting of three main tools and resources: a self-check tool, a co-creation method kit and sector specific roadmaps. It further produced teaching and training materials; including a three-step approach to responsible innovation in business (https://innovation-compass.eu/training/) five good practice cases of companies that have already successfully implemented responsible innovation in practice (Deliverable 1.3) and a webinar that introduces companies to the co-creation method kit (https://innovation-compass.eu/method-kit/). All project output is available on the project website at https://innovation-compass.eu/. The website presents the different tools and materials in a way designed to be comprehensive and user-friendly to business. This approach aims to lower access barriers for SMEs, provide inspiration about responsible innovation in practice and facilitate implementation of responsible innovation practices in SMEs across Europe.
COMPASS has increased the knowledge base on why and how SMEs could operationalize responsible (research and) innovation (R(R)I). It has developed a set of tools and resources that allows innovative businesses to understand the concept of responsible innovation and to practically implement responsible innovation practices. COMPASS has translated the concept of responsible (research and) innovation into terms and practices that are understandable and useful in a business context. By using the tools and resources provided by COMPASS on its platform https://innovation-compass.eu/ innovation managers, company owners, CSR managers and others are able to find: 1.) a definition of responsible innovation that is useful in a busienss context (in form of frequently asked questions); 2.) a self-check tool that describes responsible innovation not in form of a defintion but by corporate practices structured according to innovation processes; 3.) a method that allows companies to develop their own action strategy towards responsible innovation; 4.) inspiration from peers in form of good practice cases; 5.) background information in form of short expert papers; and 6.) further resources for implemenation of specific responsible innovation practices. Scholars and policy makers are further provided with a searchable directory of European RRI projects as well as teaching cases about responsible innovation. While all tools were developed with companies and experts from three specific innovative sectors in Europe (nanotechnology, cyber security and biomedicine), application of tools and resources is not confined to these sectors but applicable to innovative companies across Europe.
Responsible Innovation Labs Choreography
Stakeholder engagement approach
Responsible Innovation Labs Building a vision
Responsible Innovation Labs Step 1