Innovation uncertainty and value creation in regenerative medicine. Is there a space for RRI?
Speaker: Professor Andrew Webster - Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit, University of York
Introducing the concept of ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI) which is firmly anchored in Europe, and drawing on results from my current research project in the UK that explores the development and clinical adoption of regenerative medicine (RM) therapies, this lecture examines how value is created in an innovation context marked by uncertainties over the science, the product and its use. All areas of biomedical innovation might be said to experience similar unknowns, but RM has specific features which produce a challenging ‘uncertainty overhead’.
The principal areas of activity in RM are described and the strategies of government agencies to respond to uncertainties. How far does this allow an opportunity for, a space for, RRI which we are all supposed to
Andrew Webster is Professor in the Sociology of Science and Technology at York and Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU.
He was Head of the Department of Sociology at York between 2004-9 and then Dean of Social Sciences and member of the University’s Senior Management Group until 2013. He has directed national research programmes for the ESRC and MRC in the fields of emerging health technologies and stem cells, and held major grants from UK research councils and the European Commission.
He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2007.
He serves on a number of editorial and scientific advisory boards as well as national policy committees including the UK Stem Cell Bank Steering Committee, the Regenerative Medicine Expert Group Sub-committee, and the Scientific Advisory Committee, Pharmacy Research UK, as well as member of various UK and international academic bodies including, the BSA, EASST, and the Dutch WTMC’s International Scientific Board. His current research focuses on regenerative medicine and the processes that shape its adoption in the clinic, and a new grant is to start in April 2017 on gene-editing, IPS cells and 3D tissue priniting. He has collaborated with Professor Catherine Waldby (ANU) for a number of years, currently in relation to the ARC project on ‘Regulating Autologous Stem Cell Therapies in Australia’.