Global Genes, Local Concerns
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Global Genes, Local Concerns

Legal, Ethical, and Scientific Challenges in International Biobanking

Edited by Timo Minssen, Janne R Herrmann and Jens Schovsbo

With interdisciplinary chapters written by lawyers, sociologists, doctors and biobank practitioners, Global Genes, Local Concerns identifies and discusses the most pressing issues in contemporary biobanking. Addressing pressing questions such as how do national biobanks best contribute to translational research and how could academic and industrial exploitation, ownership and IPR issues be addressed and facilitated, this book contributes to the continued development of international biobanking by highlighting and analysing the complexities in this important area of research.
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Chapter 11: Responsible research and innovation and the advancement of biobanking and biomedical research

Helen Yu


One of the core objectives of responsible research and innovation (RRI) is to maximize the value of publicly funded research so it may be returned, to benefit society. However, while RRI encourages innovation through societal engagement, it can give rise to complex and previously untested issues that challenge the existing legal frameworks on intellectual property (IP) and public entitlement to benefits of research. In the case of biobanking, the personal nature of human biological materials and the often altruistic intention of participants to donate samples intensifies the need to adhere to RRI principles with respect to the research, development, and commercialization of innovations derived from biobanks. However, stakeholders participate and collaborate with others in the innovation process in support of their own agendas. Without IP to safeguard investments in R & D, stakeholders may hesitate to contribute to the translation of discoveries into innovations. To realize the public benefit objective, RRI principles must protect the interests of stakeholders involved in the translation and commercialization of knowledge. This article explores the seemingly contradictory and competing objectives of open science and commercialization and proposes a holistic innovation framework directed at improving RRI practice to ensure a positive impact in obtaining the optimal degree of social and economic value from research.

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