Skip to main content

Responsible Bioentrepreneurs


The principles of responsible bioentrepreneurship are a call for multiple stakeholders to engage in a manifold discourse driving a solution-oriented innovation process.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. As a bioentrepreneur, one can understand ‘researchers hoping to commercialize their research, and […] those working for and with young life science companies’ [1].

  2. Responsible Innovation and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are often used as synonyms in the literature. RRI was originally defined as ‘[…] a transparent, interactive process by which societal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view to the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products (in order to allow a proper embedding of scientific and technological advances in our society).’ [14].


  1. Bioentrepreneur webportal by Nature Biotechnology. Accessed 01 May 2018

  2. Barton NR, Burgard AP, Burk MJ, Crater JS, Osterhout RE, Pharkya P, Steer BA, Sun J, Trawick JD, van Dien SJ, Yang TH, Yim H (2015) An integrated biotechnology platform for developing sustainable chemical processes. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 42(3):349–360.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Yim H, Haselbeck R, Niu W, Pujol-Baxley C, Burgard A, Boldt J, Khandurina J, Trawick JD, Osterhout RE, Stephen R, Estadilla J, Teisan S, Schreyer HB, Andrae S, Yang TH, Lee SY, Burk MJ, van Dien S (2011) Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for direct production of 1,4-butanediol. Nat Chem Biol 7(7):445–452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Check Hayden E (2015) Synthetic biology lures Silicon Valley investors. Nature 527(7576):19.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. BCC Research (2017) Synthetic biology: global markets. Accessed 15 Jul 2019

  6. SynBioBeta (2019) Meet the 25 synthetic biology companies that raised $652M this quarter, Accessed 02 Jun 2019

  7. Check Hayden E (2014) Synthetic-biology firms shift focus. Nature 505(7485):598.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Solazyme (2016) Solazyme focuses its breakthrough algae platform to redefine the future of food: company will be changing name to TerraVia™ to reflect focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients Accessed 29 Sep 2016

  9. Corbion (2017) Innovative microalgae specialist TerraVia acquired by Corbion. Accessed 15 Jul 2019

  10. Wild Earth (2018). Accessed 09 Apr 2018

  11. Memphis Meats Memphis Meats Website. Accessed 02 Jun 2019

  12. Tuomisto HL, de MMJT (2011) Environmental impacts of cultured meat production. Environ Sci Technol 45(14):6117–6123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Tuomisto HL (2019) The eco-friendly burger: could cultured meat improve the environmental sustainability of meat products? EMBO Rep 20(1):e47395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. von Schomberg R (2013) A vision of responsible research and innovation. In: Owen R, Bessant JR, Heintz M (eds) Responsible innovation: managing the responsible emergence of science and innovation in society, 1st edn. Wiley, Chichester, pp 51–74

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  15. Evolva (2016) Responsible innovation. Accessed 09 Apr 2017

  16. TerraVia (2016) Sustainability principles and commitments. Accessed 09 Apr 2018

  17. ETC Group, Friends of the Earth GMOs 2.0: synthetic biology: a guide to protecting natural products. Accessed 06 Oct 2016

  18. ETC Group, Heinrich Böll Foundation (2015) Outsmarting nature? Synthetic biology and ‘climate smart’ agriculture. Accessed 15 Jul 2019

  19. SynBioWatch (2016) A shopper’s guide to synthetic biology: are GMOs 2.0 in your food and cosmetics? Accessed 06 Oct 2016

  20. Jim Thomas (2014) What-syn-a-name? Accessed 08 Jul 2014

  21. Gaskell G (2010) Europeans and biotechnology in 2010: winds of change?: a report to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research. EUR, 24537 EN. European Commission, Brussels

  22. Bolz K (2017) Who should be the principal of innovation? J Resp Innov 4(1):78–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Bolz K, König H (2018) Can responsible innovation be a moderator of entrepreneurship? Learnings from the debate on advanced biotechnology. Int J Bus Globalisation 21(3):308–326.

Download references


We would like to thank Dr. Harald König who provided comments, insight, and expertise that greatly improved the manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karsten Bolz.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bolz, K., Volkmann, C. Responsible Bioentrepreneurs. Nanoethics 13, 147–150 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Responsible innovation
  • Bioentrepreneur
  • Biotechnology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable development