Responsible Research and Innovation

Business, science, government and society team up to innovate

The Center for Responsible Research and Innovation CeRRI at Fraunhofer IAO develops new strategies and methods that enable specialists to follow a demand-oriented approach to research projects and innovation processes from day one. Responsible research and innovation is the ethical foundation of our work. This commitment means that we resolutely consider the needs of society when we research and innovate. In other words, we systematically examine societal implications, incorporate various perspectives and shape the future in cooperation with others. We therefore help translate research findings into innovations for all of society.

We regard the system of innovation as a quadruple helix: businesses, researchers, government authorities and society as a whole collaborate dynamically to create innovations and new knowledge. It is this transformation of the innovation system, away from unidirectional push-pull logic towards dynamic and diverse interaction, that we regard as an opportunity. In cooperation with players and stakeholders throughout the system of innovation, we develop widely accepted, demand-oriented solutions that will succeed in the long term.

We leverage our expertise in organizational and management culture to successfully initiate and accompany corresponding processes of change. What’s more, we combine methods from economics and social sciences with design approaches. Thanks to our portfolio of methods, we can systematically analyze the past and present while helping to mold the future.

Our mission

  • We identify societal trends and shifts before making it possible to exploit them for technological development and innovations at an early stage. 
  • We equip our customers with the right methods and the knowledge they need to actively make transformation a reality in accordance with their requirements. 
  • We help our customers’ workforces and managers prepare for the demands they must meet in the “4.0 world of work.” And develop new solutions for companies in collaborative processes of innovation.

Our key areas of research:

  • Processes of innovation and transformation
  • Transfer of knowledge and technology
  • Organizational and corporate cultures
  • Processes of strategy and foresight
  • Bidirectional communication of research
  • Co-creation and participatory processes
  • Business models and societal impact
  • Ethics and acceptance 



Shaping Future: What people want for 2053

What relationship do we want with technology in the future? What technological support do we want for our work, our health, our mobility and our interpersonal relationships? These questions are at the heart of the “Shaping Future” research project. 

The Responsible research and innovation Research Unit is organized in the following teams:


Corporate Culture and Transformation

This team identifies a company’s unique cultural aspects that can be fine-tuned to make processes of transformation succeed. It also studies an organization’s DNA to ensure tailored implementation.


Societal Trends and Technology

In the scope of collaborative processes of innovation, we combine trends in society with new technological opportunities. In addition, team members aim to develop and design sustainable solutions for tomorrow that will gain acceptance.


Design-based Strategies

Members of this team develop design-based methods and strategies for processes of innovation and transformation. They also assist organizations with the development of innovative solutions of tomorrow likely to be accepted by users.