Framework for innovation-friendly regulation

Towards innovation-friendly regulation

Radical innovations and break-through technologies are desperately needed in solving to-day’s difficult societal challenges, such as those created by climate change or ageing demographics. However, addressing complex societal challenges requires elaborate systemic planning, determined investments and often also, visionary and brave decisions by the legislators and regulators.

While radical innovation may bring much needed economic benefits and solutions to pressing societal challenges, they can also generate new risks and ethical dilemmas. Hence, today’s legislators are faced with difficult questions in trying to foresee an optimal legal framework, which would sufficiently leave space for and encourage new solutions, but at the same time would ensure safe conditions and fair benefits to everyone.

In light of the above, increased attention is paid to developing innovation-friendly regulatory approaches and practices. The introduction of European Commission’s Innovation Principle, as well as several national initiatives (such as regulatory sandboxes and regulation roadmaps), are good examples of such development.

So far, there has not been a common definition, nor a comprehensive framework to grasp the different aspects of innovation-friendly regulation approaches and practices. Developing such framework has been one of the main objectives in Finnish government commissioned study on “Impacts of regulation on innovation and new markets”. This Policy Brief presents some first findings and introduces a draft framework for innovation-friendly regulation.