Spectro – Pilot Results

Basic Pilot Data

Company name: Spectro
Type of company: Cleaning
Country: Netherlands

Logo of Spectro

  • Type of Industry: Cleaning agents
  • Focus pilot: aligning stakeholders for IoT cleaning products for hospitals

 

Interview with Laurens Metternich, CEO Spectro

What was particularly illuminating for me was that by collecting more data about cleaning we also as company may get new responsibilities which may led to new moral dilemmas. This has led us to adapt new policies for what data we share with our clients’ 

Pilot Company

Spectro is a Dutch manufacturer of cleaning agents for professional use. The strategy of the company is aimed at developing high-quality innovative cleaning solutions that increase sustainability and lower the costs of cleaning. It a family-owned company with about fifty employees. The company won the Family Fundament Award for the Best Dutch Family Business in 2014.

The company has an active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, with a focus in particular on sustainability. The mission of the company is ‘to decrease the total environmental impact of its products as well as decrease the cost of cleaning’. The company has the ambition to become a European player in the area of sustainable cleaning agents.

 A main technological development for Spectro is the Internet of Things (IoT). This will allow making cleaning devices connected and the collection and exchange of data. Such applications will allow better maintenance and servicing (e.g. refilling in time). They also allow the collection of data about cleaning which can contribute to better or more efficient cleaning. One of the potential markets that was explored for new clever dosing systems using IoT is that of cleaning in hospitals. This market is interesting for Spectro because the company is still a smaller player in that market but would like to expand. Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are a main concern in hospitals. It is estimated that in the EU 4 million people acquire an HAI annually, and approximately 37,000 premature deaths occur due to HAI. In an additional 110,000 cases, HAI contributed to the death of patients according to estimates.

Three routes are important for preventing HAI;

  1. patient-to-patient contamination
  2. contaminated hands of healthcare personnel
  3. environmental contamination.
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The Challenge

The Pilot: Smart Cleaning Products for Hospitals

Spectro could in particular contribute to reducing HAI (i.e. environmental contamination and develop new products that offer a clear added social value combined with a potentially interesting business case for the company. However, getting the different stakeholders aligned is a major challenge.

One particular problem is that the departments (or external companies) doing the actual cleaning do not seem to conceive the current situation as problematic nor do they seem to see any potential for the use of IoT in cleaning.

Another more general obstacle is that cleaning contracts are often the result of tendering and that in such procedures the emphasis is often currently primarily on the costs of cleaning (rather than the resulting hygiene). A first step in overcoming such barriers might be to set up a pilot with one hospital; but even that might require efforts that extend the capabilities of a small company and could probably be better initiated at the branch level.

It was further found that responsibly developing such new cleaning technology requires attention to a range of values in addition to the values of sustainability, quality and innovativeness that are already central in Spectro operations. These values are: public hygiene, privacy, security, transparency (of data collection), autonomy (of cleaning personnel), and reliability and trust. These values were further explored by developing a number of value scenarios. These are short hypothetical stories about (unexpected) use that help to reveal relevant values and potential value conflicts.

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Results

Getting the stakeholders mentioned above aligned is a major challenge. One particular problem is that the departments (or external companies) doing the actual cleaning do not seem to conceive the current situation as problematic nor do they seem to see any potential for the use of IoT in cleaning.
Another more general obstacle is that cleaning contracts are often the result of tendering and that in such procedures the emphasis is often currently primarily on the costs of cleaning (rather than the resulting hygiene).

A first step in overcoming such barriers might be to set up a pilot with one hospital; but even that might require efforts that extend the capabilities of a small company and could probably be better initiated at the branch level.

It was further found that responsibly developing such new cleaning technology requires attention to a range of values in addition to the values of sustainability, quality and innovativeness that are already central in Spectro operations. These values are: public hygiene, privacy, security, transparency (of data collection), autonomy (of cleaning personnel), and reliability and trust. These values were further explored by developing a number of value scenarios. These are short hypothetical stories about (unexpected) use that help to reveal relevant values and potential value conflicts.

As a result of the pilot, Spectro now aims at more actively sharing data with its customers so that they can take responsibility for the frequency and quality of cleaning. Many of his customers are not aware of the data being collected and of the potential value of this data.  Also  Spectro will develop a policy that explicitly addresses privacy issues, in particular because future technological innovations may involve the collection of data that can be traced to persons.

it would be wise for Spectro to develop a policy about privacy collection and sharing that explicitly addresses privacy issues, in particular because future technological innovations may involve the collection of data that can be traced to persons.

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Roadmap

PRISMA: Responsible Research & Innovation in Industry

From pilots to CEN-standard  

The PRISMA project has conducted pilot studies with 8 companies in order to help them to better integrate Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) in their innovation process and business practices. These pilots have provided case studies and good practices on RRI.   

Based on the experience with  eight pilots and consultations with industry and standard organization, PRISMA initiated an upcoming  CEN  (European Committee for Standardization) standard for companies aiming at developing a strategy for Responsible Innovation.

This  standard (also known as RRI-Roadmap)   is aligned with existing standards and policies on risk and innovation management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as the standards ISO 26000, ISO 9001, ISO 31000, ISO 56000.

 

Latest Updates

 

PRISMA Roadmap

Based on the experience with  eight pilots and consultations with industry and standard organization, PRISMA developed a practical guideline and standards for companies aiming at developing a strategy for Responsible Innovation.

The RRI-Roadmap methodology is aligned with existing standards and policies on risk and innovation management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), such as the standards ISO 26000, ISO 9001, ISO 31000, ISO 56000.

Jointly with CEN, the European Committee for Standardization,  further steps will be initiated regarding the roadmap. See also our press statement.

PRISMA Pilot Results: Cases & Best Practices

The goal of the PRISMA-project was to draw specific lessons about how RRI can be implemented in industry, ranging  from small enterprises to large corporations to consortia with universities. To this end, the  project included cooperation with 8 different companies in the field of  automated cars, internet technology, drones, biotechnology, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology.

The PRISMA Toolkit for Responsible Research & Innovation

The PRISMA Project has delivered a toolkit for small or medium-sized companies that aspire to develop innovative products and services with which genuine societal needs are addressed and a contribution is made to both environmental and economic sustainability.