Enhancing Socio-technological Innovation for Tree Health Through Stakeholder Participation in Biosecurity Science
Technological innovations demand interactions across academics, end-users and commercial stakeholders if they are to be ‘fit for purpose’. Stakeholder engagement can enhance the efficacy of new biosecurity technologies, increase buy-in as well as uptake and build relationships to increase ‘preparedness’. We explore the role of stakeholder engagement and social learning through a research project developing five novel detection technologies. Our aims were to underpin the technological development, facilitate stakeholder engagement and investigate the role of engagement in enabling socio-technological innovation. Targeted, time-sensitive stakeholder engagement is preferred, and this will vary depending on the TRL, whilst the more diffuse benefits of broader social learning remain difficult to defend. However, it was concluded that collaborative approaches are still critical in stimulating effective technology development.
We would like to thank all the project team members and stakeholders who generously gave their time to participate in the social research. The project ‘New approaches for the early detection of tree health pests and pathogens’ (http://protectingtreehealth.org.uk/) was supported by a grant funded jointly by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Forestry Commission, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Government, under the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative.
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