The ReAlChem-Responsible Innovation Project

In collaboration with:Green Biologics Ltd (project lead, Dr Liz Johnson); BioExtractions (Wales) Ltd; Dynamic Extractions Ltd

Understanding responsible innovation in practice: an analysis of the manufacture of renewable alternative chemicals

 This project was launched in November 2017 as an independent side project of the Innovate-UK funded project ‘Manufacture of renewable alternative chemicals’ (ReAlChem). ReAlChem-R investigates responsible research and innovation ideas in the context of UK industrial biotech. The project aims are threefold:

  • to assess different perspectives on notions of responsibility among diverse stakeholders
  • to understand key challenges experienced by the industrial biotechnology sector, especially in relation to the social dimensions of the bioeconomy
  • to understand how responsible innovation ideas are translated into actual practices
  • to contribute to the further development of responsible innovation practices

To achieve these aims, we are conducting interviews with industry practitioners, policy actors and other key stakeholders, as well as documentary analysis and ethnographic research in biotech companies and research labs. Our project partners in the ReAlChem Project are four mid-size biotech companies: Green Biologics, DynamicExtration, BioExtraction, and Keit. However, we also interact with corporate staff and managers, scientists, regulators, industry bodies, funding bodies as well as civil societal organizations and NGOs from all over the UK. Findings from our project will be shared with participants and disseminated to relevant parties such as the UKRI (BBSRC, EPSRC, iUK), the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, the UK Industrial Biotech Leadership Forum and others.