Responsible Innovation, 2014-2015

This September, the universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam will organise in full collaboration the minor programme Responsible Innovation. Top students from different disciplines will come together to learn and practice Responsible Innovation

This minor offers in-depth insight into how responsible innovation can be accomplished and promoted. Students will learn how responsible innovation can be defined and analysed; how it can be done and managed at the level of a project team, of a company, and of an entire economic system; and how responsible innovation can be promoted and irresponsible innovation avoided.

Students will be challenged to bring newly acquired knowledge into practice. We believe that learning responsible innovation requires doing. Together with experts from industry, private entreprise and public sector, students will work in interdisciplinary teams on cases in the field of responsible innovation.

What is Responsible Innovation?
Innovation is a key driver of economic development. Companies aim at innovation and governments stimulate it. But although innovation may bring good to society, there are also many examples of innovations and new technologies that have serious negative effects, or that just fail to address the important problems. The term responsible innovation refers to innovation that avoids or minimises such negative effects and failures.

What will you learn in this minor?
During this minor you will be introduced to the technical, managerial and socio-economic principles that govern innovation, and discuss the ethical conditions for innovating responsibly. The media present us with a variety of interesting cases, such as Bio-metric identification, Cyber Crime, Shale Gas, GMOs, Nuclear Energy, and Labour rights. The answer to such complex problems is never one-dimensional but may be at odds with the common idea that business is mainly about money making. Companies tend to produce innovation that aims to generate revenues. Governments set rules that provide limitations for the sake of safety, environment and other societal benefits. In some cases, customers favour ‘responsible’ companies over others – ‘fair trade’ or ‘eco’ claims or labels may then create a competitive advantage.

To understand and answer these questions an interdisciplinary approach is required. In this minor, unique knowledge and skills are brought together from three cooperating universities Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam. Each university brings its own specific focus and expertise to the issue of responsible innovation. The students and teachers come from the different universities, and bring with them specific knowledge and perspectives from their studies. To bring the potential for interdisciplinarity to life, participants will embark in mixed teams on a so called Student Project; diagnosing, analysing, designing and evaluating a real life company case.

More information on the minor and its specific courses will be available in the e-guide from May 1 onwards. If you have questions, please contact Sjoerd Louwaars at s.p.louwaars@cdh.leidenuniv.nl

Structure of the Minor

During this minor you will be introduced to the technical, managerial and socio-economic principles that govern innovation, and discuss the ethical conditions for innovating responsibly. The media present us with a variety of interesting cases, such as Bio-metric identification, Cyber Crime, Shale Gas, GMOs, Nuclear Energy, and Labour rights. The answer to such complex problems is never one-dimensional but may be at odds with the common idea that business is mainly about money making. Companies tend to produce innovation that aims to generate revenues. Governments set rules that provide limitations for the sake of safety, environment and other societal benefits. In some cases, customers favour ‘responsible’ companies over others – ‘fair trade’ or ‘eco’ claims or labels may then create a competitive advantage.

To understand and answer these questions an interdisciplinary approach is required. In this minor, unique knowledge and skills are brought together from three cooperating universities Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam. Each university brings its own specific focus and expertise to the issue of responsible innovation. The students and teachers come from the different universities, and bring with them specific knowledge and perspectives from their universities. To bring the potential for interdisciplinarity to life, participants will embark in mixed teams on a so called Student Project; diagnosing, analysing, designing and evaluating a real life responsible innovative case.

Target group

Do you want to work together with students from Delft and Rotterdam on responsible innovation issues? This minor is open to all bachelor students of TU Delft, Leiden University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

We aim at students who are passionate about understanding dilemmas in responsible innovation. The course encourages students to think about the people, planet and profit aspects of potential innovations. The following common features describe our target group: – Societal conscious: you have a vision to understanding dilemmas in responsible innovation; – Entrepreneurial spirit: you are open minded with a flexible and proactive attitude; – Value-driven: you have a wish to contribute to financial, ecological and social sustainability.
We are looking for a high diversity of interests and backgrounds, in order to have strong cross-disciplinary teams with higher and more effective innovation capacity!

Registration and contact details

You can register for this minor between May 1 and August 15. It is not possible to follow only one course, as the minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected way.

Exceptions are made for students who have to choose electives of 15 ECTS. In this case, students have to register for the individual courses – Basecamp, Camp I and Camp II (15 ECTS) which take place in the first quarter of the first semester, those Usis codes will be announced shortly.
More information on the minor and its specific courses will be available in the e-guide from May 1 onwards. If you have questions, please contact Sjoerd Louwaars at s.p.louwaars@cdh.leidenuniv.nl

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