Report Finds Stronger Regulation Spurs Chemical Innovation

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By Kelly Burke for Intellectual Property Watch

New research shows that more rigid laws regulating hazardous chemicals encourage innovation in both large and small companies, according to a report published by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

The report, titled “Driving Innovation: How stronger laws help bring safer chemicals to market” [pdf], examined the impact of laws governing hazardous chemicals in terms of their effect on innovation, development, and adoption of alternatives. The report cites an increased number of patents filed for alternative chemicals every time there’s new chemical regulation as evidence of the innovation.

“Over-regulation … is seen as an old problem and there is a lot of truth in that,” Peter Droell, head of the European Commission Unit for Policy Development for Industrial Innovation, said in a CIEL release. “We are working to overcome it. But we also need to recognize that regulation can be a big driver of innovation.”

The report states that not only can increased legislation drive general innovation, but regulation will “spur the innovation of safer alternatives and can pull safer alternatives into the market.”

CIEL’s report provides a series of recommendations for policymakers such as: promoting access to information about chemical hazards; allowing government authorities the power to remove hazardous chemicals from the market; and crafting stronger treaties for a level playing field globally.


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  1. says

    I feel strict laws will not encourage more innovation, but allows quality product into the product. After all chemical innovation is only to make disease free world. Hence policies should be framed emphasising on human and environment safety rather than encouraging more innovations with less/no value.


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