International Handbook on Responsible Innovation
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International Handbook on Responsible Innovation

A Global Resource

Edited by René von Schomberg and Jonathan Hankins

The Handbook constitutes a global resource for the fast growing interdisciplinary research and policy communities addressing the challenge of driving innovation towards socially desirable outcomes. This book brings together well-known authors from the US, Europe and Asia who develop conceptual and regional perspectives on responsible innovation as well as exploring the prospects for further implementation of responsible innovation in emerging technological practices ranging from agriculture and medicine, to nanotechnology and robotics. The emphasis is on the socio-economic and normative dimensions of innovation including issues of social risk and sustainability.
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Chapter 8: Is innovation always good for you? New policy challenges for research and innovation

Luc Soete


Traditionally innovation is being associated with a positive image. At the policy level, it is practically impossible to be negative about innovation. Yet, the policy slogan ‘“Innovation is good for you’ remains surprising given that innovation failure rather than innovation success appears to have been the most common feature of innovation processes. Both the historical and international evidence highlights that innovation, and more broadly the introduction of new technologies, do not always represent Schumpeterian processes of ‘creative destruction’, that is, processes which renew a society’s dynamics leading to higher levels of economic development, destroying a few incumbents to the benefit of many, but now and then seem to represent the exact opposite pattern: processes of ‘destructive creation’ with innovation benefiting a few at the expense of many. The underlying causes for such destructive-creation processes and the policy challenges they pose call for close attention.

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