Part of the INTERREG IVB North-West Europe strategic initiatives program, KARIM (Knowledge Acceleration Responsible Innovation Meta-network) brings together partners from six states of North-West Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland) to further the goal of responsible innovation. The project aims to improve SME access to technology and innovation support services while fostering a network of responsible-innovation experts. It will run over the next 2 years and consists of a network of various European academic institutions, such as: MFG (Germany); TU Delft (Holland); UCDublin (Ireland); HTW Chur (Switzerland); Lancaster University (United Kingdom). ISIS has contributed KARIM by playing a major role in the writing of a guiding document aimed at supporting SMEs in the integration process of a responsible-innovation strategy. It has also designed and delivered training modules on responsible-innovation to SME consultants and is currently involving student group projects in developing case studies on that topic.

The programme is centered on four pillars, as follows:

           1.     Definition of Responsible-Innovation

Although the concept of Responsible-Innovation is increasingly present in companies’ mission statements and strategies, there is currently still no concrete definition of the term. One of the first tasks will be to determine precisely what this concept encompasses.

            2.     Knowledge Transfer

One of the main objectives of the KARIM project is to increase SME competitiveness in a global market by offering them guidance and support in the integration of responsible approaches across their business plans and strategies. In this context, the project will provide a method for controlling costs by reducing waste and optimizing the use of resources; it will aim to improve conformity with consumers’ environmental needs and enhance corporate and social profiles.

            3.     Strategic Network of Innovation Actors

A major goal for KARIM is to create collaborative networks of academics and representatives from businesses and supply chain organizations to generate new knowledge and understanding through application, and to collaborate with intermediary business support organizations (supply tools of risk and impact measurement, identify ethical sources of finance for the innovation process, convert research into commercial applications).

            4.     Support for Innovation

Training sessions will be developed in order to foster Responsible-Innovation practices amongst executives. This will count as a key purpose of the programme to help SMEs identify, shape and improve their approach to this type of innovation.

To find out more about KARIM, click here.