Is society shaping innovation or is it the other way around?

Whether ethical, environmental, economic or social, industry, technology and construction sectors everywhere are now faced with numerous global societal challenges. Because each of our choices has a socio-economic and environmental impact, all over the world, voices are being raised to question our collective quest for “more and more”. Innovation also has impacts and cannot be approached in black and white because it is not only part of the problem but part of the solution as well. New ways of innovating must be found to better reconcile society and innovation and to develop responsible research and innovation practices.

What future for Europe in tech?

KETs are the Key Enabling Technologies that the European Commission has identified as the technologies to be supported in the long term in order to meet the challenge of Europe’s deindustrialisation and to strengthen its weight in the international landscape in terms of research, innovation and industry. These KETs are a tool to support the policy of industrial recovery. There is also a link between research and industry. A budget of 6 billion euros is devoted to their development.

While KETs have the potential to solve societal challenges and find applications in industry, economy, and the social, health and food sectors, their development faces public opinion barriers. Technology developers need to review their innovation processes to integrate more actively society’s needs.