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Corporate governance guide for responsible innovation introduced by BSI

24 April 2020

NATIONAL STANDARDS body the BSI has just published its PAS 440 Responsible Innovation Guide. Of great relevance to security solution developers, it's the first national framework designed to assist companies in working through the demands of innovating in a responsible manner and demonstrating Best Practice.

Responsible research and innovation is acknowledged by business, policymakers and Government bodies alike as being a critical component of governance systems across the European Union. Current approaches to this discipline focus on basic research, with the main emphasis being on the use by academics of university ethics committees. This new standardised guide from the BSI (produced in collaboration with Innovate UK and industry at large) covers product, service and process innovation support to companies that wish to innovate responsibly and to demonstrate their responsible behaviour.  

The fast-tracked standardisation document, known as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS), provides a practical guide that helps companies to understand the need for responsible behaviour and chart a path through conflicting aspirations and the demands of a broad range of stakeholders. It allows organisations to demonstrate that they're innovating responsibly, while also taking account of companies’ needs to continue to innovate in a timely manner to ensure that they remain competitive in their marketplace.

David Fatscher, head of environment, social and governance standards at the BSI, said: “Good corporate citizens are increasingly expected to consider not only the benefits of their innovations, but also any possible adverse impacts, including unintended use, misuse or other unforeseen consequences. Until now, there has been no guidance for companies on how to structure their thinking and processes. PAS 440 is the first governance guide for responsible innovation.”

Paul Mason, director of responsive programmes at Innovate UK, added: “Companies developing new products, services or processes in any market or technology area will find PAS 440 directly relevant. Innovate UK has found that most innovative companies want to do the right thing. The question in very new and disruptive areas where the potential uses of a technology are still being explored is: ‘What is the right thing?’. This standard can help companies follow Best Practice such that they can innovate more responsibly in the eyes of customers, investors and, indeed, the wider society.”

The creation of this free-to-download standardisation document has been overseen by a Steering Group made up of organisations from across multiple sectors and innovation researchers. It aims to provide a responsible innovation framework that's usable in any sector of the economy where radically new and innovative technologies, products, services and processes are being developed.

*Download your copy of PAS 440 at https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail?pid=000000000030394658