Presentation and discussion of the PRISMA project roadmap at the Italian National Standard Body
How can companies design long-term strategies to improve the social value of their research and innovation processes as well as their overall social performance? This question was discussed at a Co-Creative Dialogue event in Milan on 30 and 31 October, at the headquarters of the Italian National Standard Body (UNI).
As suggested by the title of the workshop, “A roadmap to foster social value in business, research and innovation strategies”, the discussion focused on practices and methodologies needed to integrate issues of social responsibility and responsible research and innovation (RRI) in companies.
Eight companies collaborating in the European PRISMA project (Piloting RRI in Industry) presented real-life experiences as “RRI pilots”. These companies, all using transformative technologies, are: Archa Srl & Techa Srl and Colorobbia (nanotechnology), Evolva and Bisigodos (synthetic biology), RDM Group and Aerialtronics (autonomous vehicles) and HAT and Spectro BV (Internet of Things). Several other companies, industry managers and business leaders, research institutions, standard and certification organisations also participated in the event.
In total 60 participants discussed the RRI-CSR PRISMA Roadmap, a methodology being developed to assist companies in defining strategies for taking greater account of social values and impacts in research and innovation processes. The discussion included issues of risk management, quality, innovation management, practices and standards in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). For this reason, the importance of UNI collaboration.
Some key messages emerge from the event, namely the need to define a common framework for RRI in industry as it is still not clear for companies the added value of RRI, compared to existing sustainability schemes or CSR policies. Also, the associated costs for implementing RRI was mentioned as a barrier to its uptake by industry. The challenge for companies is to find enough internal resources as well as human capacity for implementing RRI, specially for Small and Medium Enterprises. The key message from the event was that industry needs more examples from the real world: case studies or real application of RRI in industrial context in order to push RRI into daily practices. In this sense, best practices of RRI implementation should be shared.
The event in Milan was organized by the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in collaboration with the Italian Association for Industrial Research (AIRI) and the Italian National Standard Body (UNI). For more information on the development of the RRI-CSR PRISMA Roadmap and on the project please visit the PRISMA website. For more information on the event, please visit: https://www.itas.kit.edu/veranstaltungen_2018_prisma2.php
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