How can Government and regulators keep up with disruptive innovation? Read the latest blog from the joint UKRN + Policy Exchange roundtable

Published: July 2017

From drones to blockchain, digital currencies to battery storage, and social networks to e-hailing apps – the emergence of new technologies and business models is changing the face of many product and service markets in the UK and globally.

In many cases, these innovations are already challenging and disrupting incumbents and such technological progress and innovation looks set to accelerate as we move towards a digitalised world.

Many of these innovations raise significant regulatory questions, such as:

  • What examples of disruptive innovation are taking place across regulated industries?
  • Are they likely to have a positive or negative impact on consumers?
  • Is regulation holding back or facilitating this innovation?
  • How can regulators adapt to these changes? What are the examples of best practice to date?
  • What is an appropriate balance of risk between the precautionary principle and encouraging innovation?
  • How can regulators better reflect the interests of start-up companies / industries that haven’t even been created yet?
  • To what extent do economic regulators’ remits, duties and functions need to adapt to accommodate disruptive innovation?
  • How do we ensure that regulators are not ‘captured’ by incumbents or the current view of the world?

The UK is already seen as a world leader in regulatory innovation – for example in FinTech, drones, and autonomous vehicles – and this is helping to foster growth in these industries. But what more needs to be done going forward to maintain this lead?

The UKRN and Policy Exchange debated these and other questions in a roundtable with regulators and industry from a variety of sectors, as well as John Penrose MP and Alan Mak MP.

You can read the blog summarising the discussion here.