Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Responsible and Sustainable Innovation

It is often assumed that innovation is the "force for good" that can drive the change towards more sustainable modes of production and consumption. The research group critically examines this assumption and investigates how the direction of innovation is influenced - how innovations become aligned or misaligned with sustainability goals. This question is addressed at two levels.

System level.  According to innovation systems studies, innovation is influenced by networks of actors and institutions as well as key processes such as knowledge creation and diffusion, entrepreneurial activities, guidance of the search, market formation, resource mobilisation, and legitimacy creation. Our group examines the dynamics within and between innovation systems which influence the speed and direction of innovation. Our work contributes to theory-building in the burgeoning field of sustainability transitions by theorising the directionality in innovation systems and developing an innovation systems-based perspective on sustainability transitions.

Individual, group and organisational level. The research group explores how psychological and group characteristics shape research and innovation practices and how sustainability-oriented responsible research and innovation (RRI) can be promoted. This work contributes to theorising the changing role of research and innovation in the transition to more sustainable modes of production and consumption. It strives to go beyond the triple and quadruple helix modes and develop a theory that integrates insights from RRI, innovation studies and sustainability transition studies.

Furthermore, the research group is developing methodological tools that aim to facilitate responsible and sustainable innovations. Examples are "Inclusive Innovation Radar", "Responsible Business Model Canvas" as well as "Responsible Delphi Method" and "Roadmaps for Responsible Research and Innovation". These tools are of interest to researchers in other disciplines and actors outside academia and thus enable inter- and trans-disciplinary research.