Project on Open and Responsible Innovation for Health (OECD BNCT)

Current and imminent advances in science and technology allow new forms of targeted intervention in the basic processes of human biology -- including ageing, reproduction, cellular repair, immunity, and neurological function. There is a strong imperative to translate such discoveries into diagnostics and therapies that address grand health challenges -- such as Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, infectious diseases -- but substantial challenges remain in terms of constructing the right economic, ethical and social context for innovation and access. One set of policy challenges has to do with balancing the imperatives of open innovation, commercialisation, and access. How to ensure that advanced therapies will develop in a socially responsible and sustainable manner?

Contact: hermann[dot]garden[at sign]oecd[dot]org 

Workshop "Minding Neurotechnology: delivering responsible innovation for health and wellbeing"

6-7 September, Shanghai, People's Republic of China (PDF iconAgenda_OECD Shanghai Workshop.pdf)

The Shanghai Workshop is focused on exploring some of the unique ethical, legal, and policy challenges raised by health-related applications of brain science and its integration into cutting edge neurotechnologies. One key aim of this workshop is to provide a forum for innovators within organizations – companies, academia, foundations – to discuss strategies for delivering responsible innovation in neurotechnology for health and well-being applications. 


 The objectives of the Shanghai Workshop are: 

  1. Promote a deeper dialogue among business leaders, investors, policy makers, social scientists, and practitioner communities to enable desirable social outcomes and benefits of neurotechnology. 
  2. Enrich current discussions of the social implications of neurotechnology on both short and long-term time horizons by hearing from those engaged in bringing products to market. 
  3. Better understand how considerations of responsible innovation can improve the sustainability of business models in novel neurotechnology. 


Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in  this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarilyreflect the views of The Kavli Foundation.



OECD Session 'The Microbiome', Human Genome Meeting

14 March 2018, Yokohama, Japan 

There is strong evidence that microbiomes – the ecosystems of micro-organisms interacting in and with particular environments in the human body – play an important role in human health. Although the relevant actors are gaining scientific insights ever more rapidly, challenges remain in terms of developing an evidential base, standardisation of terms and protocols, and a credible and welltailored regulatory framework. While the field genuinely holds promise, it is also subject to hype. If such a promising scientific field is to lead to innovative applications, policies on science and innovation could be improved in five areas: 1) science policy; 2) enabling translational science; 3) public-private collaboration; 4) regulatory frameworks; and 5) skills, communication and the public.  





This year the OECD Session at the Human Genome Meeting discussed three key questions: 

  1. What are the recent developments in micorbiome researach for health and well-being? What could be the impact on health innovation; including research, development, and commercialisation of products for personalised nutrition and health? 
  2. How are digitalisation, data sharing, open science, collaborative platforms and public-private partnerships (national and international) reshaping innovation in the microbiome? 
  3. What new concepts of technology transfer are emerging? What are the challenges? How could policy support the microbiome as a new business opportunity? 

Speakers and panellists:

  • Dr. Richard Johnson, BIAC, CEO, Global Helix LLC and member, National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences, USA
  • Dr. Young-Do Nam, Head/Senior Researcher, Research Group of Gut Microbiome, Korea Food Research Institute, Republic of Korea (link to presentation)
  • Dr. Hiroshi Ohno, M.D., Ph.D., Group Director, Laboratory for Intestinal Ecosystem, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS), Yokohama, Japan (link to presentation
  • Prof. Takaaki Abe, Division of Medical Science, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Clinical Biology and Hormonal Regulation, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan (link to presentation
  • Dr. Ingrid S Surono, Food Technology Department, Faculty of Engineering, BINA NUSANTARA University, Indonesia 
  • Mr. Hiroki Kurokawa, Johnson & Johnson, Japan
  • Mr.  Ye Yin, CEO, BGI Genomics Co., Ltd, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China (link to presentation
  • Dr. Mark Bale, Deputy Director, Science Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health, UK 
  • Dr. Hermann Garden, Policy Analyst, OECD, Paris, France

Expert Consultation on Neurotechnology and Society

14-15 September 2017 

National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington D.C.

This 1.5-day meeting brought together leaders from across sectors to assess ethical, legal, societal, regulatory, and economic aspects of brain science and neurotechnology, and to delineate principles and primary areas of good practices in the field. This work may lead to the development of Principles Responsible Innovation in neurotechnology. Agenda: link. Report: link


A group of participants. Thank you very much for the excellent meeting. 

  Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in  this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kavli Foundation.

Expert Meeting

Gene editing for advanced therapies: governance, policy, and society

6-7 July 2017, BMBF, Berlin, Germany. Agenda: link; Report: link

Opening talk by Prof. Dr. Jin-Soo Kim (Director and Professor, Center for Genome Engineering, Institute for Basic Science and Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea). Slides: link

The 1.5-day expert meeting "Gene editing for advanced therapies: governance, policy, and society" discussed governance mechanisms for the responsible use of gene editing technologies in somatic cells to promote human health. 


The purpose of the expert meeting was to explore the core scientific, legal, regulatory and societal challenges facing the responsible development and use of gene editing for advanced therapies, such as regenerative medicine and cell therapy. International stakeholders aim to identify where new forms of collaboration across science and society may help to promote a reasonable balance of risk and benefit in personalised health and well-being. 


  1. Pool ideas and approaches from countries for the responsible development of gene editing technologies in advanced and personalised therapies, especially in relation to research policy, ethical, legal and social aspects, regulation and governance, and innovation policy.
  2. Examine options available to social actors in, and around, public engagement approaches designed to inform governance and regulation.  
  3. Draw more general policy lessons for the responsible development of emerging technologies. 

 Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in  this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the KLRI.

International Workshop

Personalised nutrition for better health – targeting the microbiome

10-11 October 2017, Brussels, Belgium  


The workshop provided an international forum to explore how policymakers, regulators, academia, business and the civil society are developing new ways to advance research and innovation in the microbiome for promoting personalised nutrition and human health. 

Further information at: link.

Joint workshop between the OECD and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish government. 



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Past Events

  • Workshop "Minding Neurotechnology: delivering responsible innovation for health and well-being", 6-7 September 2018, Shanghai, P.R. China, Agenda (link),
  • Workshop "Personalised nutrition for better health: targeting the microbiome", 10-11 October 2017, Brussels, Belgium; Agenda (link) 
  • Expert Consultation "Neurotechnology and Society", 14-15 September 2017, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington D.C., United States; Agenda (link); Report (link)
  • Expert Meeting "Gene Editing for Advanced Therapies: governance, policy, and society", 6-7 July 2017, BMBF, Berlin, Germany; Agenda (link); Report (link) 
  • Lausanne III Workshop: 23-24 October 2016, Lausanne, Switzerland (Workshop Report)
  • Workshop "Neurotechnology and Society: strengthening responsible reserach and innovation in brain science", 15-16 September 2016, Washington D.C., United States. Reports: OECD publication forthcoming; Neuron JournalNational Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • NERF Neurotechnology Symposium, Leuven, Belgium, 2-3 May 2016 (OECD presentation)
  • Lausanne II Workshop: 15-16 December 2015, Lausanne, Switzerland (Workshop Report)
  • STI Seminar: 'Converging Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing', Mihail Roco, Paris, 2 December 2015
  • Lausanne I Workshop: 10-11 November 2014, Lausanne, Switzerland (Workshop Report)