What would build the confidence of stakeholders in companies’ use of innovative technologies? This is a critical question for organisation of all types involved in the research and innovation chain. We decided to try to find out.
The findings of public dialogue show that the public has significant interest and confidence in the products of innovation, but they, like the investors, NGOs and retailers we spoke to as part of this project, want to see more transparency from companies to reassure them of the safety, efficacy and appropriateness of their products.
Our Building Confidence project started off by looking at the important issue of disclosure and transparency.
However, there are some important competitiveness issues which come with greater transparency for companies – will their competitors simply use this information to their own advantage? Are there liabilities associated with more openness, particular where stakeholders are asking for more information about uncertainties and company systems?
This project was created in two parts, first to explore what stakeholders expect, and how companies can respond, covered in the report above. We hope then to undertake a second phase, which goes into more detail on the reputational, legal and competitiveness aspects of that may follow on.
More detail on our evaluation of public dialogues is available here
Through a series of discussions and workshops we talked to investors, ngos and retailers and evaluated reports of 23 public dialogues and related projects which explored public views. We then took these findings and developed a framework for companies to engage with their stakeholders, department by department, to help build their confidence in the use of technology innovation.
MATTER Business Group
The MATTER Business Group were brought together for the project and were asked to contribute £5,000 towards the process. We presented the findings of the consultations to the Group and explored with them our recommendations. AstraZeneca College Hill Communications GSK Leatherhead Food Research Marks and Spencer Nestle Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (not a funder) Unilever
We were delighted that The Big Innovation Centre offered to host our launch on 3 April 2012. BIC Guest speakers Vicky Price, Snr MD – Economics, FTI Consulting & Dr Jackie Parkin, VP, GSK explored the topic of Responsible Innovation with MATTER Director Hilary Sutcliffe and a multi-stakeholder audience.
Hilary’s slides exploring what Responsible Innovation may mean to businesses and outlining the findings of the report