Responsible Innovation and companies
Innovation is essential for ongoing business success - but new approaches bring with them new risks, uncertainties and responsibilities alongside these new opportunities.
Responsible Innovation asks business to humanise its approach to innovation; to rethink its innovation strategy to focus on a social purpose, better manage risks and uncertainties and engage with all its stakeholders in a shared responsibility for its success.
Innovation is the life blood of most businesses, it is what will secure their future prosperity. The ethical, social and environmental issues raised by Responsible Innovation are often familiar to large companies and many SMEs, but the 'black box' of R&D is often separate to the discussions of corporate strategy, corporate social responsibility and even of risk and due diligence until quite late in the process. Responsible Innovation could be seen as CSR for Innovation Strategy - a challenge for many organisations where the innovation pipeline is the company's best kept secret.
Considering the social purpose of innovation will involve a richer evaluation of purpose and benefit which considers more than profitability and sales potential. Evaluation of wider potential impacts will stimulate an exploration of social and ethical impacts and residual uncertainties alongside HSE risks and consider, with stakeholders, the company responsibility and that which is shared with the wider community.
It will demonstrate its trustworthiness in this regard with more openness on the purpose, benefit and implications of the innovation and work with its stakeholders to explore their views and assess their contribution to innovation strategy.