About this online course


How can you assess and address uncertainties, potential risks and public and ethical concerns surrounding your innovation projects? How can you ensure that new products and services are safe? How can your innovation strategy achieve commitment from all stakeholders and enhance competitiveness and profitability?

Responsible Innovation (RI) enables companies to anticipate social and ethical issues and integrate them into their innovation and design processes and business strategy right from the start. This has a number of advantages:

  • ensures that appropriate measures are taken to prevent/reduce potential risks from developments in science and technology, including unintended consequences, security and transparency issues.
  • strengthens public trust in the safety of products.
  • enhances the company’s reputation and contributes to a motivated workforce.
  • increases medium-term competitiveness and profitability.

This course will enable engineers, managers and entrepreneurs to integrate RI in their company’s innovation strategy.

You will be able to design a roadmap to embed RI in your business strategy and CSR policies, using a new European Standard which provides guidelines for developing long-term strategies for innovating responsibly. You will also learn to assess and measure the success of your RI initiatives through key performance indicators (KPIs).

This course covers the importance of embedding safety and other societal values in new product and service design from the outset. You will learn how to analyze ethical, legal and social impacts, deal with controversial or conflicting issues, organize effective stakeholder engagement, communicate your RI vision across the organization and overcome resistance when implementing your RI strategies.

The course offers best practices, tools and practical recommendations that you can use in your job to successfully drive innovation towards more socially responsible and profitable outcomes.

What you'll learn

  • Develop a successful strategy for RI within your company
  • Create commitment in internal and external stakeholders 
  • Embed a safety culture within your organization
  • Implement a design-for-values approach  
  • Select the appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) for CSR and RI
  • Promote ethical leadership


This MOOC is financially supported by the EU (grant agreement No 710059) and is a joint effort of TU Delft, Warwick University (UK), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment and the Italian Association for Industrial Research.


Course Syllabus

Module 0: Getting Started
General introduction to the concept of RI and its key elements. The importance of RI for addressing societal challenges.  

Module 1: RI and Innovation Strategy
Added value for companies and how to realize a long-term win-win situation when it comes to achieving both commercial and societal benefits. Overcoming barriers and how to avoid “greenwashing”. New official EU-standard for RI (‘CWA 17796’) – a systematic approach developed by a consortium of universities, companies and standardization organizations. Alignment with ISO standards. The roadmap and related process explained in detail.  Practical examples.

Module 2: Leadership and Key Performance Indicators
Defining and creating a culture of shared values for innovation. Implications for leadership. Defining key performance indicators for RI. Alignment with other business objectives. Examples and best practices.  

Module 3: Implementation of RI: Successful Stakeholder Engagement
How to identify stakeholders. How to make stakeholder dialogue a success. Translating results into optimizing products and services. How to deal with public reactions that are hard to anticipate. Risks of not involving stakeholders. The importance of the gender and inclusiveness dimension. Toolkit.

Module 4: Implementation of RI: Safe-by-Design
Explanation of the safe-by-design approach during the whole lifecycle of the product. Dealing with risks and how to prevent unintended and unforeseen negative impacts. How to create and nurture a safety culture. Various risk assessment tools. 

Module 5: Implementation of RRI: Design-for-Values
The Design-for-Values approach method. Implications for the design process. Practical examples of how to apply it and the value added. Dealing with conflicting and changing values. 

Summary of the course and lessons learned.
Final assignment: apply the framework.


Other Instructors:

Joost Groot Kormelink
Manager Strategic Innovation
Delft University of Technology

Tom Sorell
University of Warwick

Andrea Porcari
Project Manager
Italian Association for Industrial Research

Maria Maia
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Korienke Smit
Policy Advisor
National Institute for Health and the Public Environment (RIVM)


Unless otherwise specified, the Course Materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


  • Starts: Anytime (Self-Paced)
  • Free | Earn certificate for $50
  • Length: Self-Paced
  • Effort: 3 - 4 hours per week / 6 weeks

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