Until recently, we considered the very concept of a global pandemic or war in Europe as scenarios that were perhaps conceivable in principle, but overall utterly unrealistic – especially at the same time. Now both are a reality and they could even be just the tip of an iceberg. The world will face unanticipated global threats and crises more frequently in the future. The challenge to the global community is therefore to seek out new ways to deal with, manage, and adapt to such upheaval.
When it comes to innovation, resilience will become just as important as the now commonly used term sustainability. In other words, innovation will need to meet the challenges of unforeseen and extreme threats of a global nature. Preparing for such extreme threats, or XTs as we call them in risk research, is a major topic being looked at in joint research being conducted by Steinbeis with ETH Zurich. Changes in the needs of society brought about by XTs require responses that bring together multilateral approaches.
To cope with XTs, suitable and innovative risk and resilience methods are needed. Very few examples illustrate this better than a statement recently made by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in which she admitted “how vulnerable our energy infrastructure is.”
At the same time, this is a challenge we must rise to. The only way to develop innovative solutions is to engage in cross-sector collaborations. To do that, it will be necessary to pool national and international competences. The challenge is to bring together contributions made by fundamental research, applied research, technology transfer, and politics. The European response to the aforementioned vulnerability of infrastructure includes resilience stress testing based on the latest scientific knowledge in combination with novel technology transfer mechanisms such as “resilience analysis as a service.” This is already reflected in a new EU directive on critical infrastructure protection.
The scientific community with its diverse collaborations in the world of business can contribute to this in future innovation and technology transfer processes with the six resilience principles that have been developed: prudence, modularity, redundancy, diversity, adaptability, and integration. In times of XT, the approaches to risk and resilience research exemplified by the Steinbeis Network and the ETH Zurich Risk Center make it possible to assess innovation and its ability to support resilience.
The articles in this issue of TRANSFER magazine look at risk management from very different perspectives, offering a variety of exciting new insights. We wish you an interesting read!
With kind regards,
Professor Dr. Aleksandar Jovanovic & Dr. Hélène Schernberg
Professor Dr. Aleksandar Jovanovic (author) is manager of Steinbeis EU-VRI GmbH. A team of experts is engaged in research under the umbrella of Steinbeis EU-VRI, also offering advice on the assessment, analysis, and management of corporate and technical risk. Aleksandar Jovanovic currently holds a visiting professorship at ETH Zurich.
www.steinbeis.de/en/su/1190 | www.risk-technologies.com
Dr. Hélène Schernberg (author) is managing director of the ETH Zurich Risk Center and a lecturer for the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics at ETH Zurich. The risk center focuses on interdisciplinary research that integrates expertise not only within the center, but also across all areas of ETH Zurich with the aim of solving real-world, risk-related problems.