, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 7-22
Date: 07 Mar 2013

Setting Up Spaces for Collaboration in Industry Between Researchers from the Natural and Social Sciences

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Policy makers call upon researchers from the natural and social sciences to collaborate for the responsible development and deployment of innovations. Collaborations are projected to enhance both the technical quality of innovations, and the extent to which relevant social and ethical considerations are integrated into their development. This could make these innovations more socially robust and responsible, particularly in new and emerging scientific and technological fields, such as synthetic biology and nanotechnology. Some researchers from both fields have embarked on collaborative research activities, using various Technology Assessment approaches and Socio-Technical Integration Research activities such as Midstream Modulation. Still, practical experience of collaborations in industry is limited, while much may be expected from industry in terms of socially responsible innovation development. Experience in and guidelines on how to set up and manage such collaborations are not easily available. Having carried out various collaborative research activities in industry ourselves, we aim to share in this paper our experiences in setting up and working in such collaborations. We highlight the possibilities and boundaries in setting up and managing collaborations, and discuss how we have experienced the emergence of ‘collaborative spaces.’ Hopefully our findings can facilitate and encourage others to set up collaborative research endeavours.