June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
Engineering innovation and technology entrepreneurship—whether by a single founder establishing a new venture or a multidisciplinary team within a large industrial firm—are embedded in cultural, legal, and physical contexts that constrain, facilitate, and otherwise influence the innovation process. Within any entrepreneurial context, assessing and managing risks are high priorities. When it comes to environmental hazards and other threats to health and human safety, we face the challenges of optimizing potential benefits while minimizing possible negative outcomes and making a profit. These requirements will lead to the necessity to consider different and often new sets of values while developing technical products. Furthermore, it will change the nature of the engineering profession and of engineering education, especially education for engineering innovation and entrepreneurship. The US and the EU/Germany reacted on two levels to the new priorities of social values: We will, first, compare American and European perspectives and regulatory frameworks which define a firm’s responsibility for long-range damages of the environment or the health of workers and consumers. In Europe the precautionary principle is a regulatory tool to enforce a firm’s liability: when certain facts indicate a threat or the possibility of harm, firms are obliged to test the products rigorously and to collect data that proof its harmlessness. In contrast the US system is based on a cost-benefit analysis. Second, changes in the engineering curricula are possible options to address the need to consider a broader set of social values. We describe and discuss the different approaches offered by the EC2000 accreditation criteria in the US and comparable standards in Germany.
Steffensen, B., & Neeley, K. A. (2017, June), Precaution and Evidence - Legal Systems as Context Factors of Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28752
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