Institut für Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement
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Responsibility in the spotlight at Europe’s largest conference for research and innovation

The ESOF is the largest show­room for EU fun­ded re­search and an­nu­ally at­tracts an audi­ence of 4,000 in­di­vidu­als from in­dustry, re­search, policy and civil so­ci­ety. This year, a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus was set on show­cas­ing on-go­ing European pro­jects deal­ing with re­spons­ible in­nov­a­tion. Kath­ar­ina Jar­mai and Norma Schönherr, both pro­ject man­agers at the In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity, seized this op­por­tun­ity to present two large pro­jects on re­spons­ible in­nov­a­tion in in­dustry fun­ded by the cur­rent European Com­mis­sion’s Frame­work Pro­gramme for Re­search and In­nov­a­tion “Ho­ri­zon 2020” and co­ordin­ated by the In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity: COM­PASS (­nov­a­tion-­com­ and LIV­ING IN­NOV­A­TION (www.liv­ing-in­nov­a­

In the first part of the work­shop or­gan­ized by the In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity, five ex­perts from re­search and in­dustry pitched their most im­port­ant mes­sages about mean­ing­ful col­lab­or­a­tion for re­spons­ible in­nov­a­tion in in­dustry.

  • The is­sue of mean­ing­ful col­lab­or­a­tion was in­tro­duced by André Martinuzzi, head of the In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity in Aus­tria, who poin­ted out the im­port­ance of trust­ful re­la­tion­ships, com­mit­ment and learn­ing on both sides.

  • In­sights on cre­at­ing value from col­lab­or­a­tion from a case study set in the health­care sector were offered by Karsten Bolz, pro­ject leader for in­nov­a­tion and tech­no­logy at Stein­beis 2i in Ger­many, who em­phas­ized the im­port­ance of cre­at­ing spaces for col­lab­or­a­tion.

  • A first-hand ac­count of why and how a me­di­um-s­ized IT com­pany in the UK be­came en­gaged with the is­sue of re­spons­ible in­nov­a­tion was given by Ju­lie Dawson, dir­ector of reg­u­lat­ory and policy at Yoti Ltd. in the UK.

  • The im­port­ance of lan­guage in col­lab­or­a­tion was described by Emad Yagh­maei, re­search fel­low in eth­ics and tech­no­logy at Delft Uni­versity of Tech­no­logy in the Neth­er­lands.

  • Ex­per­i­ences from aware­ness rais­ing and em­ployee en­gage­ment cam­paigns at Atos were re­coun­ted by Ly­dia Mont­an­don, busi­ness devel­op­ment dir­ector at Atos Re­search and In­nov­a­tion group.

In the second part of the work­shop, the 40 work­shop par­ti­cipants were in­vited to dis­cuss chal­lenges and suc­cess factors of mean­ing­ful col­lab­or­a­tion with one of the five speak­ers at five dif­fer­ent tables. To wrap up the work­shop, dis­cus­sion fa­cil­it­at­ors Kath­ar­ina Jar­mai (In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity), Heike Vo­gel-Pöschl (In­sti­tute for Man­aging Sus­tain­ab­il­ity), Josephina An­to­niou (Uni­versity of Cent­ral Lan­cashire Cyprus), Cath­er­ine Flick (De Mont­fort Uni­versity) and Mar­garet Pe­suit (Isin­nova) summed up the dis­cus­sion out­puts. They em­phas­ized the im­port­ance of un­der­stand­ing each other’s con­texts and ob­ject­ives, the need to cre­ate trust­ful re­la­tion­ships and the rel­ev­ance of suf­fi­cient in­form­a­tion on both sides com­bined with a high level of pro­cess trans­par­ency as suc­cess factors for mean­ing­ful col­lab­or­a­tion. Such con­di­tions of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing, trust and trans­par­ency form the basis for col­lab­or­a­tion that cre­ates learn­ing on both sides and en­ables the devel­op­ment of bet­ter solu­tions for the com­pany and so­ci­ety alike.

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