Biotangents recognise that new technologies can raise concerns among the public and that this is particularly so with innovations in life science. It is essential that the public good is thoroughly considered when innovating in synthetic biology. Failure to do so inevitably has negative commercial (as well as potentially environmental and societal) consequences that can extend beyond our own company.
Our core values are fairness, honesty and pragmatism, and we aim to work with maximum integrity, to be environmentally conscious and to continuously develop to ensure that these values run consistently through our company. All staff and student visitors undergo formal training to ensure the safety of themselves and others. We operate to Quality Assured principles, and, as such, we maintain accurate records and work to documented and standardised methodologies, while pragmatically accepting that R&D requires methods to be constantly reviewed and refined. We are proud of our innovations and seek to build on these, working with partners where they add value and fill our knowledge gaps, to develop socially desirable solutions that sustainably improve efficiency within agriculture.
We have adopted the Anticipate, Reflect, Engage, Act (AREA) model for Responsible Innovation:
Anticipate: Fully understanding the impact of our work is essential for us to achieve our aim of becoming a globally recognised company. This approach extends to decisions on partners; we only engage with those who share our standards, including our approaches to responsible innovation, even when that may have negative short-term cost implications.
Reflect: Having committed to a particular R&D path, we continually monitor developments in the company and the wider community to remain aware of any arising changes (both good and bad). We routinely report on these at management and board meetings.
Engage: Active engagement with the communities that may be affected by our innovations helps us to ensure that our products solve real challenges (as well as increasing awareness of our products). It also helps us to better anticipate the broader effects that our innovations may have. We also engage with universities and innovation and knowledge centres including CIEL, SynbiCITE and the IBioIC.
Act: We combine all these factors to guide our R&D and wider business strategies.