Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of Synthetic Biology

Click here to download the Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of Synthetic Biology.


The Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of Synthetic Biology provides:

  • reflections on field specific challenges;
  • suggestions for a flexible and tested RRI approach to be implemented in industrial innovation processes;
  • a list of stakeholder-specific concrete actions;
  • evidence of potential benefits for companies and other stakeholders involved;
  • an overview of the whole process performed during the SMART-map project.


The Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of Synthetic Biology is the outcome of a two-years-long process which started with two Industrial Dialogues and concluded with a Pilot activity. The process has led to the identification of a long list of benefits deriving from adopting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) practices in this industrial context.

The Synthetic Biology Industrial Dialogues consisted of two workshops that took place in 2017, one in Manchester, UK, the other in Budapest, Hungary, aimed at co-designing tools for the implementation of RRI processes in this industrial field.

One of the tools identified by the Industrial Dialogues, the Repository of Learning Cases, has been tested during the Synthetic Biology Pilot activity, through the participation of three diverse organisations in the UK: a large governmental science and technology development and commissioning organisation (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – Dstl); a medium-sized knowledge consultancy (Cambridge Consultants); and a synthetic biology micro-business (Innovation and Sparkling Science Ltd).

Sally Randles from Manchester Metropolitan University explains that “The output of the Pilots will be three Case Studies in the form of short practitioner-authored vignettes. They will help the governance layer to work through what might be needed to standardize an accreditation/certification process for companies and organizations that will incorporate RRI. An example of that is the work that we did with Cambridge Consultants, that takes a particular role as a knowledge intermediary in the ecosystem. The things that they discussed in their really interesting Case Study came from the perspective of bridging different technologies, different clients and different positions in the innovation ecosystem.”

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Project Coordination
prof. Francesco Lescai,
Aarhus University

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement no. 710500