Symbolic narratives, such as an “ivory tower”, a “grey zone”, or a “black box” tell us about the gap between university and society, and academia and industry. Recently, they have been replaced by the Quadruple Helix model, which closes the gap by connecting four main stakeholders—government, university, industry, and society, into an innovation ecosystem. However, the roles of the different stakeholders are often blurred and difficult to define, and it is difficult to develop a basic approach to implement responsible innovations in industrial ecosystems in general. On the other hand, the interactions between stakeholder groups, especially universities and industry, are not sufficiently demonstrated in both scientific literature and empirical studies. We note that the responsible research and innovation (RRI) approach should facilitate a framework of shared taxonomy among stakeholders. By highlighting this situation, we follow the paradigm of emerging thinking and we seek to fill this knowledge gap theoretically and empirically. Therefore, in this study, we combined several strategies and perspectives. First, we conducted survey research concerning social capital in Poland and Lithuania to understand the impact of social capital and trust on stakeholder cooperation. Second, we conducted interviews with scientists who actively work to transfer knowledge into industry. Third, we utilized field notes from working experiences in research management. This work has theoretical and practical implications. The theoretical contribution of the paper demonstrates the construction of methodology based on emerging perspectives, and new theoretical insights, on professional discourses for implementing the responsible innovation approach in industrial ecosystems, by highlighting the commitments of main stakeholder groups. Practical input: our insights and empirical research will contribute toward sustainability policymaking and achieving substantial results in industrial ecosystems. The results indicate that if there is trust, then the government, companies, and society (in Poland and Lithuania) would be willing to cooperate with each other. However, there is a lack of trust and cooperation between universities and businesses. Stakeholders have become increasingly aware of the emergence of a science and industry cooperation as an open platform, enlarged with society and policies. They note the problem of making research public and transparent as part of a new mode of cooperation; however, they articulate RRI as a framework of shared taxonomy.
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