Are you a startup founder trying to innovate? Keep reading because we have news for you!
In June 2019, the Government presented the White Paper on Regulation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to make sure regulations are keeping up with innovation.
Driverless cars, devices such as e-cigarettes or Artificial Intelligence applications for early diagnosis and treatment of health issues are examples of innovations that initially fell through the regulatory cracks during their development.
This uncertainty is what the White Paper purports to change. Here’s how.
Why is the White Paper on the Fourth Industrial Revolution important?
The fourth industrial revolution is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work.
Through its implementation, the government aims to ensure that businesses are provided with sufficient certainty to innovate and customers are provided with the protection that they need.
This is positive for startup’s founders and innovators as it provides a road map for their future relationship with regulators and a template to work from.
The intended result is to have the government work in tandem with industries to bring new technologies to market by developing and maintaining an agile regulatory environment.
“The white paper on regulation of the fourth industrial revolution sets out plans to transform the UK’s regulatory system to support innovation while protecting citizens and the environment.”
What does the White Paper include?
Key measures announced in the White Paper include:
- Regulatory Horizons Council
The government plans to establish a Regulatory Horizons Council, composed of industry participants. This body will prepare periodic reports which set out recommendations on regulatory measures which should be accelerated through the legislative process.
- Review of the Pioneer Fund
Following the success of the FCA’s “regulatory sandpit” which allowed firms to work with the regulator and trial innovative products, the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund has invested £10m in other regulator-led initiatives.
- Innovation Test
As part of its plan, the government intends to pilot an innovation test. This should ensure that regulatory impact is considered at every stage, from the development of policy to the evaluation of implemented laws.
In particular, if an implemented law is not having the intended effect, it should not be “locked in”.
- Regulation Navigator
Introduction of an online Regulation Navigator tool in order to minimise the compliance burden on businesses. This could potentially also involve mechanisms for businesses to provide feedback on how regulations are impacting their business.
What the White Paper is missing?
The White Paper doesn’t provide next steps for businesses that are already established and are having difficulty understanding where the regulatory boundaries lie for their next phase.
Therefore, they’ll likely have to dedicate resources to changing their systems and processes to deal with new rules and interactions with regulators.
That’s why the best next step for established businesses is to engage meaningfully with policymakers by crafting a well-designed legal and regulatory strategy that is favourable.
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