Sustainable innovation, resilient innovation, and societally desirable innovation – if this sounds appealing to you, perhaps you should consider involving civil society in your innovation process.
Sometimes civil society steps up, takes initiative, and creates genius, resilient solutions. We have seen it before, and we are witnessing it again in the current Covid-19 crisis. People have 3D printed protective equipment in times of shortage. DIY ventilators have been built in short time. In other words, we see civil society taking steps to address societal needs and urgencies motivated by reasonings that seem to go beyond the logics of market, governance and academia.
Civil society can take part in innovation
Cross-sector collaboration between industry, academia and the public sector has long been endorsed as a means of providing solutions which are societally attractive and robust. As interest in Responsible Research and Innovation grows, so does the interest in involving civil society in such collaborations. Claims are that civil society is less occupied with profit, bureaucracy and research strategies and closer to the concerns, needs and interests of citizens and society.
Cross-sector collaborations can be challenging. We need more insights into how they work in practice. Which main challenges do they face, what works and what doesn't? How do you actually succeed in cross-sector collaboration, particularly collaborations involving civil society?
The RiConfigure project was initialized to explore these questions and – through mutual learning, training and policy recommendations – to foster cross-sector collaboration, particularly including civil society, in innovation.
RiConfigure project provides practical advice on collaboration in innovation
If you see the potential in cross-sector collaboration, but need the tools and the routine to maintain this kind of collaboration, we in the RiConfigure project have good news. Based on results of our 54 existing cross sector collaborations, we have gathered some practical advice on how to make these collaborations a success.
The RiConfigure project is an EU Horizon 2020 project consisting of 11 partners. In Austria, the LBG OIS Center and the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) are involved. You can learn more about the project here or you can contact project manager Magdalena Wailzer (magdalena.wailzer (at) lbg.ac.at)for more information.