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Constrain or enable? How can regulation drive open innovation

Wield, D

Shannon ABC Annual Conference ‘Open Innovation’

Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland

April 1 2015

The blockbuster pharma drug discovery model, so beloved of analysts as well as big pharma, is more like a theatrical performance of life science innovation activity than it is a description of reality. It is not good at picturing the realities of the constantly changing life sciences sectors, which include instruments and diagnostics, food products, database services and the myriad of SMEs and academic spin-outs trying to make value out of knowledge. Nor does it describe well the recent changes as more open innovation approaches have become embedded, knowledge comes from networks, IP more licensed, and companies learn to compete on standards and regulations, niches and interstices. But, with its three-plus stage clinical trials, complex and multi-layered national and international regulatory systems, it casts an enormous shadow over the ways regulations evolve and get applied to life science innovators.

Can regulation enable and drive, rather than constrain, innovation? And can the emergence of open innovation practices give any lessons on how to make regulatory systems smarter? The talk will assess the chances for a more enabling regulatory regime by describing some novel approaches and research results from the UK’s Innogen Centre over the last years.