Reinhard Mohn Prize 2020 – “Fostering Innovation. Unlocking Potential.” Innovation for Transformation

RMP Round Table 2020

Our Project

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Our Concept

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Our Findings

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Our Project

Innovation is crucial to creating a sustainable and future-oriented society and economy. As we face rapid technological change, we must do more to expand our innovative capacity if we are to remain internationally competitive. But we in Germany and Europe, like populations elsewhere around the world, also face increasingly complex and extremely urgent grand challenges in society that can no longer be tackled with conventional approaches. We therefore need new strategies, policies and instruments to make us more innovative as we aim to secure future-oriented societal and economic development for everyone.

How can we achieve these goals? How can we strengthen our innovative capacity while ensuring fair and inclusive economic development? And how can we ensure that technological progress consistently remains in line with our European values? Drawing on our research of good practices around the world, we at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, examined in-depth examples of modern and successful innovation policies that are anchored in societal needs (see the project site for further information).

Our research focuses on mission-oriented innovation strategies, measures to promote networking and exchange, as well as efforts to foster disruptive innovation and startup activity. We have bundled the results of our research into five thematically oriented results papers as part of the “Innovation for Transformation” series. The examples featured in these papers provide valuable input for similar efforts in Germany and Europe to advance innovation policy.

Our Concept

Innovation can deliver solutions to grand challenges in society while facilitating both economic and technological competitiveness – and thus contribute to transformative change. In order to achieve this goal, we need the right policies and mechanisms at work in our strategies, instruments, and institutions and organizations. Leveraging organizational synergies makes it possible to formulate visions with widespread appeal that can be implemented through appropriate mechanisms and institutions. Securing an inclusive consensus among actors across all segments of society on the direction and design of innovation activities is essential to the success of such a project.

The complex challenges of our era demand ambitious, potentially transformative responses that we can develop only through collaborative and participatory efforts. We need to make sure our innovation systems can deliver effective responses to these challenges. The good practices, highlighted by our research findings, offer examples of how to achieve this.

Video: How to foster our innovative capacity: Good practices worldwide

Our Findings

As part of our global research on good practices in successful innovation policy strategies and instruments, we identified examples from 13 countries and explored each in depth. The findings of our research are available on this website, arranged either in the form of thematic results papers or by country.

by topic

Publication: Good practices in mission-oriented innovation strategies and their implementation

Modern innovation policies should target in equal measure both economic competitiveness and societal progress. Our global research has delivered ...

Publication: Networking and exchange in mission-oriented innovation processes

Networking and exchange are important drivers of innovation. Our global research has delivered a variety of good practices in successful mission-oriented ...

Publication: Addressing societal challenges through disruptive technologies

Disruptive innovations hold great potential for strengthening competitiveness and the capacity to successfully address societal challenges. Our ...

Publication: Fostering innovative startups in the pre-seed phase

Pointing the way forward, startups are drivers of change. Entrepreneurs in the high-tech sector with an eye for societally relevant business ...

Publication: An agenda for the future: Innovation for transformation

Innovation is essential to economic and technological competitiveness, and to solving the major problems we face as a society. Our agenda for ...



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