Keywords: ergonomics, human engineering, innovation advising, innovation arenas, innovation networks, innovation systems, occupational health and safety, open innovation, organisational learning, product innovation, sustainable innovation, user integration, user participation, sustainable health and safety, health and safety innovation, human factors
A public arena for sustainable health and safety innovation: guidelines for research and practice
Evaluations of science parks show limited results, despite huge investments in staff and technology, i.e. a low level of sustainability. We present an innovation service and arena with a significant higher outcome of innovations. The arena is based on experiences mainly from three serially related action–studies on innovation in health and safety, and the assumption that all ideas in innovation must be tested naturally in a systems context and not rationally. The idea is then to capture all ideas extremely early in the innovation process (in principle before other similar institutions) where the inventor himself is prepared to test his idea. This means that all inventors, with the advice and mentorship of experienced researchers and innovators, themselves can be given the chance to establish whether their idea is sustainable or not. Our experience from testing such a subsidised innovation service shows that it could give significant effects on sustainable product innovation in occupational health and safety. We have summarised our experiences in a guideline in order to spread and improve the efficiency of sustainable innovation.