DU research into nanotechnology and geoengineering has used deliberative
forms of public engagement involving focus groups with lay publics to
explore the complexity of societal concerns about emerging technologies.
The results of this research have made a major contribution to the
development of a framework of responsible innovation. This framework has
been applied to RCUK-funded research, where it led to the withdrawal of
the UK's first field trial of a prospective geoengineering technology.
This framework has had direct impact on European policy debate and on the
UK's Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, which has begun to
embed responsible innovation in an operational context.
In the face of perceived public concerns about technological innovations,
leading national and international bodies increasingly recognize the need
for dialogue between policy makers, scientific researchers and social
actors in order to develop the technologies to address the grand
challenges facing our societies in a way that meets social needs and gains
public trust. The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the
EU, the UK Government and many funding bodies are addressing this issue by
insisting on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the development
of emerging technologies, yet the mechanisms for implementing RRI remain
largely unspecified. Researchers in SSHM (Rose, Singh, Marris and
colleagues) have established a Foresight and Responsible Research and
Innovation Laboratory (FRRIL) that has devised and implemented the first
detailed frameworks for applying the principles of RRI in the regulation
of synthetic biology, novel neurotechnologies and cognitive enhancement;
providing important, replicable models for translating the principles of
RRI into policy and practice in emerging biotechnologies.
Professor Andy Miah's research on the ethics of human enhancement has
transformed the working
lives of three principal professional communities: curators of UK flagship
festivals and exhibitions
(Abandon Normal Devices festival, the Wellcome Trust, Edinburgh
International Science Festival);
journalists (coverage on doping); and politicians and civil servants
working on technology policy
(European Parliament, World Anti-Doping Agency). His pioneering research
has led to the creation
of new artistic work, shaped policy directions, contributed to public
engagement with bioethics, and
advanced debate on the ethics of digital and biological technology.
80% of all government policies are delivered through large-scale projects and programmes. In the
private and the public sector alike they are key to innovation, change, and growth. However, they
often go wrong. The research has impacted on the performance of a number of projects by
changing the way projects are planned, managed, and assured. The impact is the result of the
research programme of the BT Centre for Major Programme Management (BTC), a research
centre of the Saïd Business School. The research has had an impact on a wide range of
management and policy issues in the UK and internationally. This case study highlights three
examples. The first is impact on the UK government's assessment of projects through work with
the National Audit Office (NAO). The second is innovation of professional services at McKinsey &
Company. The third is impact on the largest infrastructure investment in the developed world - the
California High Speed Rail project.
This case study is based on research at the interface of computer science
and biology, undertaken at MMU. Subsequent inter-disciplinary work was
partly supported by the EPSRC Bridging the Gaps: NanoInfoBio project, and
led to the creation of a new "citizen science" organization, which is now
one of the leading groups of its type in the world. The specific impacts
are (1) generation of revenue for a new business operation created as a
result of the project, (2) the stimulation of and influence on policy
debate, and (3) the stimulation of public interest and engagement in
science and engineering.
The Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance (C2G2) at the
University of Southampton is at the forefront of increasingly important
policy and practice considerations about how to enhance civic behaviour
using forms of intervention beyond legislation and taxation. Its research
in this field has influenced the UK government's approach to the concept
of the Big Society and has helped shape the broader debate on how nudging
behaviour change can reshape public service delivery. Through media
exposure and engagement in high-level interactions with policymakers, the
researchers at Southampton have framed the thinking of governments at all
levels, think-tanks and voluntary associations both in the UK and
The ESRC Innogen Centre brought together a multiplicity of disciplines
for a large 12-year
research programme (2002-14) on the impact of regulation on innovation
dynamics in the life
sciences. Research design promoted interactions between stakeholders to
achieve policy impact.
Innogen developed a range of tooIs to disseminate research findings and
influence policy in
Europe, the African Union (AU), Kenya, Qatar and at the OECD. We used
temporary placements to achieve impact, as well as more traditional
activities and outputs,
resulting in major policy impacts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Research at Oxford has played a central role within the recent
restructuring of the nursing workforce to improve healthcare quality in a
context of growing service demands and tightening resource constraints.
Much of this restructuring has been heavily dependent on the use of the
Healthcare Assistant (HCA) role, provoking much controversy. Presented as
a flexible, low cost resource, these HCA roles are also unregulated and
therefore seen as a potential source of patient risk. Oxford researchers
have fed into this debate across a number of projects, strengthening the
evidence base on the nature and consequences of the HCA role. Examining
the role from the perspective of different stakeholders, these projects
have impacted on national, regional and local policy and practice centred
on the management and use of HCAs. In so doing, the research has
contributed to the development of a more productive and safer nursing
Tim Lewens' research into risk, trust and bioethics can be shown to have
informed and influenced policy debate. This work has shaped reports of the
Business Innovation and Skills working group on Science and Trust, and
also reports from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Lewens' key
contributions to the latter's Human Bodies Report have resulted in
invitations to give evidence to the Welsh National Assembly, thus helping
to shape the Assembly's drafting of its new bill on human transplantation.
His work on the Council's report on Mitochondrial Disorders has been
echoed in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA's)
recent advice to UK Ministers, which aims to inform forthcoming debate to
alter existing legislation on experimental mitochondrial therapies.
Lewens' research has also led to his being asked to take on consulting
roles to industry, most recently with AstraZeneca.