Responsible Innovation: Industrial Biotechnology and Engineering Biology


Online Event

An online event hosted by the Carbon Recycling Network, the Nottingham BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre, and the ENGICOIN project, in collaboration with the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham.

Online, 10:30-14:00 GMT, Monday 25 January 2021

Register for the event here. Registration closes 8am, Monday 25 January 2021

This open, online event brings together the BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy, the wider synthetic biology, industrial biotechnology and responsible innovation communities, and eminent speakers from across disciplines and sectors to explore current developments, challenges and opportunities for responsible innovation in industrial biotechnology and engineering biology. Anyone with an interest in biotechnology, synthetic biology and the important role responsible innovation might play in their future development is welcome to attend!

Responsible innovation, also known as responsible research and innovation (RRI), has rapidly become an important mode of research and innovation governance and practice, aiming to more closely align science and technology with societal and environmental values, needs and priorities. Research funders in the UK, the EU and beyond increasingly require that research and innovation projects, training programmes and institutions include RRI in their activities. RRI is also becoming an important governance framework in private sector contexts. Meanwhile, changes are underway in synthetic biology governance, funding and research in the UK, the US and beyond, including an ongoing shift towards engineering biology.

This event introduces RRI and related ideas and practices in industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, and considers the transition towards engineering biology, exploring future prospects for these fields.

Register for this free online event here. Registration closes 8am, Monday 25 January 2021


Download PDF here.

Part 1: Responsible Research and Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology
Time (GMT)Speaker Topic
10:25-10:30Joining time
10:30-10:32Nigel Minton, Synthetic Biology Research Centre, University of NottinghamWelcome & opening words
10:32-10:50NIBB Directors:

– Saul Purton, Algae-UK

– Simon McQueen Mason, BBNet

– Nigel Minton, Carbon Recycling Network

– Nigel Robinson, E3B

– Sonia Heaven, EBNet

– Ian Graham, HVB

Introduction to BBSRC Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy

– Algae-UK: Exploiting the algal treasure trove

– BBNet: Biomass Biorefinery Network

– Carbon Recycling Network: Converting waste derived GHG into chemicals, fuels and animal feed

– E3B: Elements of Bioremediation, Biomanufacturing & Bioenergy: Metals in Biology

– EBNet: Environmental Biotechnology Network

– HVB: High Value Biorenewables Network

10:50-11:05Phil Macnaghten, Professor in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group, Wageningen UniversityResponsible Innovation: Translating Research Policy into Research Practice





Eleanor Hadley Kershaw, Senior Research Fellow in RRI, SBRC-NottinghamWork to date in Responsible Research & Innovation, Industrial Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology
Lotte Asveld, Assistant Professor in Biotechnology and Society, TU Delft
Joyce Tait, Founding Director of Innogen, University of Edinburgh
Neil Parry, R&D Programme Director, Biotechnology and Biosourcing, Unilever
11:45-12:00Q&A / discussionQ&A / discussion
12:00-12:30 Lunch break
Part 2: Futures of Engineering Biology and Responsible Innovation 
Time Speaker Topic
12:30-12:32Dimitris Papadopoulos, Institute for Science and Society, University of NottinghamWelcome back
12:32-12:42Rowan McKibbin, Associate Director: Frontiers and Foundations, BBSRCBackground and information on the National Engineering Biology Programme
12:42-12:52Lionel Clarke, Co-Chair of the Engineering Biology Leadership CouncilThe EBLC perspective on the transition from Synthetic Biology to Engineering Biology
13:00-13:35Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Professor of Sociology, University of ExeterThoughts on the transition from Synthetic Biology to Engineering Biology, and provocations on future possibilities for Engineering Biology, Industrial Biotechnology and Responsible Innovation
Nigel Minton, Director, SBRC-Nottingham
Sean Simpson, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, LanzaTech
Megan J. Palmer, Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives, Stanford University
13:35-13:57Open discussion


13:57-14:00Nigel Minton, Dimitris Papadopoulos and Eleanor Hadley KershawClosing words