COMPASS - your course to Responsible Innovation

COMPASS is an EU-funded project that supports Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in three emerging technology industries to manage their research, development and innovation activities in a responsible and inclusive manner. The project was implemented over three years, between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 2019.



Meet the COMPASS team!

What is Responsible Innovation?

In industry, and especially SMEs, the concept of Responsible Innovation (RI) is quite new. The definitions, principles, and tools developed for public research organisations may not always apply in an SME environment. The COMPASS project supports SMEs with tools and services for applying RI in different industries and innovation processes.

Innovative products and services hold great potential to improve the lives of consumers and solve societal challenges, such as aging societies, mass migration, and environmental degradation. However, uncertainty is inherent to research, development and innovation activities, especially in the field of emerging technologies. The implications of novel products, processes or business models for society and the environment are often difficult to anticipate. Dealing with these uncertainties in a responsible manner is key to staying competitive and bringing innovations to market. This is where Responsible Innovation can help.

Have a look at our FAQ section to get a first impression of the concept.

Wondering what you can get out of RI? Here is a short introduction.

COMPASS Consortium

compass-kickoff-meetingThe Responsible Innovation COMPASS project is implemented by 7 consortium partners from across Europe. As a consortium we are linked to 150+ innovation support organisations reaching 1 500+ entrepreneurs, start-ups & SMEs. Learn more about each partner’s expertise below.

WU Institute for Managing Sustainability

The Institute for Managing Sustalogo_wimaswuinability is part of Vienna University of Economics and Business – Europe’s largest educational institution for business and economics, business law, and social sciences. We conduct research and policy consulting projects on inter-disciplinary issues, such as corporate social responsibility, sustainable development strategies and indicators, sustainable consumption and production, responsible research and innovation.

The international interdisciplinary team at the Institute for Managing Sustainability has built up extensive expertise over the last 20 years in research projects on issues of sustainability impact measurement and performance analysis of CSR in companies (e.g. FP7 GLOBAL VALUE, IMPACT), as well as evaluating research and innovation performance and impact on society (e.g. High Level Expert Group for the FP7 ex-post evaluation; Network analysis of Civil Society Organisations’ participation in EU Research; – Monitoring the contribution of FP7 funded research to sustainable development).

The Institute for Managing Sustainability is also collaborating with the WU Institute for Gender and Diversity in Organisations and will draw on their expertise to make sure gender aspects of Responsible Innovation are appropriately integrated.

De Montfort University

dmuThe Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) at De Montfort University (DMU) is the largest research centre of its kind in the UK and one of few in Europe and the world. The CCSR is a leading institution in the discourse on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and has been involved in several European Commission and UK Research Council funded projects on RRI as coordinator (RESPONSIBLE-INDUSTRY, ETICA, FRRIIICT), work package lead (including RESPONSIBILITY, CONSIDER and GREAT) and leading ethics experts (including the Human Brain Project and 3D-Tune-In).

University of Central Lancashire Cyprus

uclan-cyprusUniversity of Central Lancashire in Cyprus (UCLan CY) is the first British University in Cyprus and an overseas campus of the University of Central Lancashire, UK. UCLan CY is the winner of the 2013 “InAVation Award” for the most innovative education facility, in terms of its technological infrastructure, in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The COMPASS team at UCLan CY comes from the School of Law and the School of Sciences (Computing Lab, Cognition and Development Lab) and is internationally recognised in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), international human rights and ICT for society research. The UCLan CY team are experts in research, innovation and ethics and have thus been involved in a number of European Commission funded global research projects investigating RRI as coordinator or work package leader (e.g. RESPONSIBLE-INDUSTRY, PROGRESS, TRUST).

“la Caixa” Banking Foundation

fblc-vertical“la Caixa” Banking Foundation (FBLC) is a non-profit organization aiming to contribute to the progress of individuals and society. FBLC is one of the global leading foundations acting in the fields of social welfare, research and innovation, and culture.
Among its activities, FBLC runs an extensive “Science in Society” program that reaches three million people every year through its science centre (CosmoCaixa Barcelona), moving exhibitions, the Internet, and television. Since the introduction of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the EU, FBLC has devoted increasing efforts to foster and promote this paradigm shift. Examples of such efforts are the European Commission’s funded RRI-Tools project, coordinated by FBLC, the development of the EFC Research Forum Statement on Responsible Research and Innovation, the participation in RRI-related projects such as HEIRRI, the progressive adoption of RRI criteria to transform FBLC’s research funding programs, and the recent launch of the program CaixaImpulse – Innovation for Society to promote the creation of biomedicine-core start-ups.

European Business and Innovation Centre Network

ebnlogolargeEBN is a network of around 250 organizations that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. EBN is also a community of professionals whose day-to-day work helps these businesses to grow in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way. EBN has been involved in a number of projects promoting and facilitating innovation and responsible research conduct in industries (e.g. TRANSITION; InnoMatNet; RRI-TOOLS; INNO INDIGO).

B Lab Europe

b-labB Lab Europe, the non-profit organization behind the B Corp movement, was founded to serve a global initiative of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies will compete to be “Best for the World” and as a result society will enjoy a shared and durable prosperity. B Lab Europe drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) promoting usage of Mission Aligned corporate structures to increase efficacy of social entrepreneurship and impact investing; 3) promoting Measure What Matters campaigns to increase use of free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance. More than 30,000 businesses already use B Lab‘s free B Impact Assessment while more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries have already joined the growing community of working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

Strategic Design Scenarios

sdsStrategic Design Scenarios is a sustainability innovation lab specialised in strategic design, scenario building, co-design with users, and community centred approaches. Their action-research activities focus on innovation dynamics, participative approaches, sustainable living, collaborative services, design for policies, behavioural change, local development and regional/urban planning. Strategic Design Scenarios SPRL is active in various fields such as responsible sustainable development, deliberative processes, energy use, sustainable cities, public service innovation, emerging uses, interaction design and social inclusion. They have been involved in several facilitation processes regarding new collaborations between private and public actors. SDS was partner in several EU research projects including foresight on the futures of innovation (Innovation Futures), citizens and stakeholder-based deliberative platforms (NANOPLAT; CIMULACT) and forward-looking activities on sustainable ways of living (CORPUS; SPREAD). SDS co-developed and is leading the LUPI, the user innovation lab at the Cite du Design, St Etienne, France. They have also been collaborating with companies like Castorama or Lyonnaise des Eaux in the design of collaborative and sustainable services.

COMPASS Advisory Board

Eight exceptional experts in their respective fields have joined the COMPASS advisory board and will provide feedback and input throughout the project.

COMPASS Advisory Board members are experts in the areas of healthcare, ICT, and nanotechnology, as well as on ethics, gender, and competitiveness issues in Responsible Innovation. Experienced and well-networked in their respective fields of practice, the COMPASS Advisory Board members ensure that COMPASS engages in the conversation with all important actors and stays focused on the fundamental questions of responsible innovation in business.

Roger De Keersmaecker

PhD, MBA, Prof. em. University of Leuven

Prof. De Keersmaecker has been research director of the Belgian National Science Foundation, teaching VLSI technology at KU Leuven, and Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations at IMEC, a world-leading research and technology provider in the area of nanoelectronics. From 1984 he was a member of the team that started IMEC and was the leader of a group developing all silicon technology process steps. From 1989 he was project manager for a frame contract with the European Space Agency and from 1992 for a suite of EC-funded R&D projects in the ESPRIT program. After retiring from IMEC as Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations in January 2014, he started “RDK Consulting & Coaching”. He has a contract with IMEC as senior consultant and represents IMEC in various organising committees, boards and association councils (e.g. the European Semiconductor Industry Association, ESIA).

Roger De Keersmaecker will provide COMPASS with his expertise on the nanoelectronics industry and research-business partnerships in this area.

Klaus Leisinger

Founder of the GVA – Global Values Alliance

Klaus Leisinger is the President of the Global Values Alliance – a non-profit foundation with the mission to promote a sustainable globalization framework based on trans-culturally and inter-religiously accepted ethical standards. The GVA also engages in advocacy for the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and promotes the integration of relevant targets into practical business management. Prior to this he was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and CEO of the former Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD).
In addition to his work at the Global Values Alliance, Klaus Leisinger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Basel, where he pursues research and teaches a wide range of topics related to international development and health policy as well as business ethics, corporate responsibility, and business and human rights.
Klaus Leisinger served UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for the UN Global. He currently serves as an advisor to national and international organisations, such as the UN Sustainable Development Solution Network and the Pontifical Academy of Science (Vatican City).

Klaus Leisinger will provide COMPASS with his expertise on global healthcare issues and on global societal challenges.

Sanja Popovic-Pantic

Chair of Woman Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Europe Network, President of the Association of Business Women in Serbia

Sanja Popovic Pantic obtained a PhD in female entrepreneurship in 2013 at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. She has been chairing the Woman’s Entrepreneurship Group within Enterprise Europe Network since May 2015.
She is the leader of the biggest national association of female entrepreneurs in Serbia. She has been running the Association since 1998. During that time, nearly 200 projects have been realized in strengthening female entrepreneurial initiatives, projects, start up and established companies. She also has a strong academic background, and is employed as researcher at the Science and Technology Policy Research Center in Mihajlo Pupin Institute.
She is author of two books addressing entrepreneurship, and of a number of scientific papers published in national and international journals and books.
Sanja Popovic-Pantic is a respected national consultant in female entrepreneurship, specializing in innovation in the SME sector. The US Embassy in Serbia nominated her for The World of Difference 100 Award, which was delivered to Sanja by The International Alliance for Women in 2012. In the same year, she has been awarded with the respectable national award “PLANETA BIZNIS”, a regional award for her contribution to the Development and Promotion of Entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans “Creators for Centuries”.

Sanja Popovic-Pantic will provide COMPASS with her expertise on entrepreneurship, innovation management, association development, and research & development.

Virginia Robano

Consultant to the OECD (Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development, Directorate for Financial Affairs, and Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development)

Virginia Robano is a researcher and policy advisor on labour and development economics, entrepreneurship and SME finance. She is currently a lecturer of Development Economics at Sciences Po University. Previousl y she worked as an Economist at the World Bank, the OECD, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Central Bank of Uruguay. She has recently analysed the finance instruments suitable for tourism SMEs, the financing of tourism development in Mexico, the regulatory environment for SMEs and entrepreneurs in OECD countries, and other SME financing issues, including the role of public financial institutions in fostering access to finance for SMEs, and the suitability of crowdfunding as a finance instrument for SMEs.

Virginia Robano will provide COMPASS with an economic perspective on innovation in SMEs, as well as with expert insights into finance issues specific to SMEs.

Maurizio Salvi

Principal administrator at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre

Maurizio Salvi holds a PhD in Health Sciences (Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects -ELSA), a European PhD in biotechnology (ELSA, from the European Association for Higher Education in Biotechnology), a University Degree in Modern Literature, a University Degree in Philosophy of Science, and a post-degree specialisation diploma in Bioethics.
At the European Commission (since 1998) his tasks included: deputy Head of the Unit on Ethics and Science; political advisor to President Barroso; Head of the European Group on Ethics of Science and New Technologies; Secretariat (advisory board by EU legislation); chair of the EC inter-service platform (ISG) on ethics and EU-policy (coordination of 20 EC services); lead of the Commission delegations with relevant third parties (in primis Council of Europe and UN Agencies); lead of the secretariat of the International Platform on ethics of science and technology –IDB- (EU 27, G20 and UN Agencies); lead of the Secretariat of the President’s Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC); policy analyst on fundamental rights and ICT, foresight in different fields (education, industrial models, e-governance etc.).

Maurizio Salvi has published extensively on governance of science and new technologies and the protection of fundamental rights in EU policies in Europe, the USA, Japan, South America and New Zealand (more than 50 scientific papers), and was a member of the Drafting Working Group of several EC policy papers (Nanotechnology, ERA, Life Science Strategy, Human embryonic stem cells etc.). He has been chief editor and co-author of 45 EC books, including EGE Opinions, EGE Round Tables reports, Ethically speaking (EC Newsletter on ethics), IBD reports, STAC Report etc.

Dr Salvi has given speeches at conferences on governance of science and new technologies worldwide, and has organised more than 100 international events on the above issues (workshops, conferences, interinstitutional meetings; EGE meetings) with EU Member States, International Organisations (WHO, CIOMS, FAO, OECD, CDBI, EMBO, UNESCO, etc.), and has organised meetings on protection of fundamental rights in science and new technologies (EGE and NEC Forum) hosted by the European Union Council rotation Presidency (18 EU Council rotation Presidencies).

Maurizio Salvi will provide COMPASS with a policy perspective on ethical, legal and social issues of emerging technologies, as well as with his expertise on the ethical implications of various fields of science.

Mahmud Samandari

Secretary General of Ethical Business Building the Future (ebbf)

Dr. Mahmud Samandari is a serial entrepreneur, trainer and coach in the areas of telecommunications and information technologies. In 1990, he co-founded ebbf, a global learning community that accompanies mindful individuals and groups through daily work and discourse to transform business and the economy, thereby contributing to a prosperous, just and sustainable civilisation. He has been active as an entrepreneur in the area of communication technologies, particularly in the context of interactive distance learning, with a focus on CSR and sustainable innovation. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, he has been active as a coach for start-ups and consultant to companies on values-based leadership and strategy.

Mahmud Samandari will provide COMPASS with his expertise on entrepreneurship in the ICT industry as well as with his expert opinion on success factors and obstacles in the transformation process towards more sustainable business models.

Londa Schiebinger

Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project

Prof. Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science at Stanford University, and Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project. Over the past thirty years, her work has been devoted to teasing apart three analytically distinct but interlocking pieces of the gender and science puzzle: the history of women’s participation in science; gender in the structure of scientific institutions; and the gendering of human knowledge. She is an expert in incorporating sex and gender analysis into research and innovation.

She has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She presented the keynote address to the United Nations’ Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Science, and Technology, September 2010 in Paris, and at the United Nations in New York, February 2011.

Londa Schiebinger will provide COMPASS with her expertise in the area of gender issues in research and innovation as well as with insights into unconscious gender bias – and how to overcome it – in organisations.

Charlotte Wagenaar

Senior Communications Advisor at PharmAccess Foundation

Charlotte Wagenaar has an international background with experience in journalism, marketing and communications. At PharmAccess Foundation, she applies her expertise to addressing market inefficiencies in the healthcare sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an integrated, demand and supply-side approach, PharmAccess introduces clinical and business standards to improve quality of care, affordable loans and management training for healthcare providers as well as innovative mobile technology to enhance healthcare provision.

Charlotte Wagenaar will provide COMPASS with expertise on global issues in the healthcare sector as well as on the role of innovations and institutions in building an inclusive healthcare market.

Responsible Innovation COMPASS

Evidence and Opportunities for Responsible Innovation in SMEs

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