About the PRISMA Project

Status of this website

The PRISMA project ran from 2016-2019, so this website is no longer maintained.
However, we keep it online because the info may still be useful to you.

In the PRISMA project we will conduct pilot studies with 8 companies in order to help them to better integrate Responsible innovation in their innovation process and business practices. These pilots will provide case studies and good practices on responsible research and innovation (RRI). On the basis of the pilots, we will develop a roadmap that will help other companies also to integrate RRI in their businesses. Several technological fields will be included in the pilots, namely synthetic biology, nanotechnology, self-driving vehicles, and the internet of things.

Why the PRISMA project?

The responsible development of new products and services is becoming increasingly relevant for companies today. Successful implementation often depends on how well the product connects to existing technological, social and regulatory frameworks. The issue of responsibility is especially pertinent with regard to system innovations that are embedded in complex social and technical environments. Societal challenges, such as growing and ageing populations, accelerating urbanization, resource scarcity, climate change, act as both drivers and challenges for innovators. Most importantly, consumers are increasingly demanding safe, healthy, affordable, as well as socially and environmentally responsible products. Companies react to this challenge by implementing more responsible practices so that they may grow their business, attract the best talent, and remain relevant to their investors.

What is Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)?

Responsible business practices are widely recognized as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In the PRISMA project we want to extent these practices to the Research and Development (R&D) and innovation process of companies. This is called Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). RRI may be defined as ‘on-going process of aligning research and innovation to the values, needs and expectations of society.’ A central idea is that social and ethical issues brought about by new innovations are anticipated and integrated in the innovation and design process from the start. This process creates more value for users and society. Furthermore, because this process encourages timely consideration of potential issues that products may raise, it sidesteps or mitigates scenarios in which companies face public criticism.

Project objectives

The main objectives of our project are:

  • Integration of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies of 8 companies
  • Providing evidence on how the RRI approach and attention for the gender dimension can improve the innovation process and its outcomes
  • The development and testing of a roadmap that helps industries to implement RRI in their innovation processes as part of their CSR policy in order to deal with uncertain and sometimes partly unknown risks and public and ethical concerns of transformative technologies
  • Broad uptake of this roadmap by companies through, industry associations,  standardization bodies, CSR and branch organizations as well as governments and CSOs.