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Case studies
Circular economy


Interviewee: Denis Mercat, Sustainable Growth Manager chez Kickmaker
July 7, 2022
Reading time: 17 minutes
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Allow all technologies to emerge


Product / service innovation
Organizational innovation


Revitalize and strengthen the industrial ecosystem / build new models for tomorrow's industry, by facilitating the establishment or relocation of certain productive activities in France, by re-internalizing industrial knowledge/know-how and by training engineers and industrialists to master industrialization

Sustainable Development Goals targeted

Evidence of favor in RRI


  • promotes collaborative innovation management and R&D activity: the organization acts as a disinterested third party to build bridges with different actors to foster R&D synergies and partnerships. It enables the pooling of expertise and technical and industrial know-how for the benefit of a common R&D project in a consortium logic allowing a rise in skills/common expertise and the creation of a new product or service.

  • participates in realigning the know-how of industrial groups with societal issues by enabling them to adapt their industrial know-how to other types of issues/sectors (e.g. enabling an industrial leader in the household appliance sector to create new products that respond to a mobility issue)

  • supports the development of startups that aim to deliver societal impact, that face many difficulties in industrializing their product, via the provision of industrialization knowledge and local and easily accessible industrial infrastructures 

  • promotes a virtuous use of high-tech via product design and optimization work (eco-design, sustainability) that takes into account the impacts of the product to be developed from the design phase 

Limits and points of vigilance

The organization’s vision is to “allow all technologies to emerge”: yet an RRI approach consists of being reflexive and questioning the relevance for society to develop such technologies or products. 

If Kickmaker’s ambition is to become a leader in the French industrial ecosystem and to build new models for tomorrow’s industry, then its role and responsibility are major in the orientation of the industrial system in France and the incentive sent to large industrial groups and startups. 

The first responsibility could be at the beginning of the process, when the incoming demand is contracted: should we allow any technology to see the light of day? Or when the team challenges the idea, to push this thinking more globally in the sense of responsible innovation.  

To date, although Kickmaker supports startups or industrial R&D projects that address social and environmental issues, it does not limit its action to these types of projects. However, from an RRI perspective, the development of industrial start-ups and impact startups must be treated in a consubstantial way. Because in a world where planetary limits are exceeded, the only viable industrial activities tomorrow will not be those that try to reduce their negative impact on their environment, but those that develop solutions to mitigate / adapt to environmental and social constraints.  

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