New developments raise new questions for policy. How can innovations and the risks associated with them be incorporated into the existing framework of rules for biotechnology? Or do new developments necessitate adjustments to the current regulations? Both scientists and policy makers can play a role in answering these questions. In order for this cooperation to run smoothly, the knowledge that is shared must be regularly 'translated'. So that it is understandable and applicable to the different areas where it is needed.
Scientists cannot tell how safe is 'safe enough'. They can, however, provide the data needed to assess risks and the methods used to do so. This data needs to be interpreted and transformed into policy. And vice versa, a question from policy needs to be 'translated' into a question that can be understood and answered by science. The T-TRIPP project supports this translation by providing insight into the learning process between research and policy, and by developing instruments to guide and reinforce this learning process. We do this in the following three ways:
1. A report for insight and policy options
On the basis of literature, interviews and workshops, the T-TRIPP project maps out who are involved in the development and implementation of safety policy in biotechnology and what is the interaction between the different actors and institutions? In doing so, we look specifically at the interactions between the science and policy domain. In this way we provide a better understanding of the cooperation and communication between research and policy, and we formulate recommendations that strengthen these interactions. All these insights and recommendations are compiled in a report.
2. A protocol for social learning
Based on the insights from the study, we are developing a protocol for social learning. Our study showed that there was still too little cooperation between research and policy. This can lead to frustration, because the different groups do not understand each other. To reduce this tension, we are developing a protocol that enables and supports interaction between different stakeholders. This protocol also helps to increase understanding of each other's values and perspectives on risk-related issues.
3. Serious games for mutual understanding and safety awareness