The mission of the Observatory is to advance knowledge in all the innovation-related areas of the law. The relationship between the two is bidirectional, as the legal framework certainly influences the development of innovation, but innovation urges at its turn the law to adapt and evolve. The Observatory intends to cast light on that relationship and improve its smoothness as well as the mutual benefits it is likely to entail.
The aim of our team is to help all the innovation market players (lawyers, future lawyers, academics, technologists, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders) find some common grounds and fruitfully cooperate in the continuous advance of progress in the most efficient way but within a framework of legal certainty.
The concept of innovation has become broader, across fields and eras, both in terms of ‘means’ and ‘ends’. The mainstream literature emphasizes the role of technological development as a driver of economic change and performance. Looking beyond the mere technological and economic aspects, the concept of social innovation emphasizes social processes as ‘means’ and social purposes as ‘ends’.
Thus, our initiative is a response to the increasingly complex and uncertain regulatory environment with respect to technological and social innovation and their interplay in a global and comparative perspective.
In the absence of truly comprehensive or integrated legal education or research programmes in Italy dealing with law and innovation, we identified a critical need for a dynamic, collaborative research and teaching hub, in order to help build a shared understanding of the field, and a launch pad for efforts to advance reflection on regulatory and policy initiatives, on which the Observatory plans to comment and promote informed debates. We aim at establishing a neutral forum where policymakers, builders, researchers, legal thinkers and the public can come together to discuss, learn, and share their insights.
We thus seek to provide an open discussion forum for policymakers, technologists and academics, while also acting as an information hub for participants to monitor, review, analyse, and discuss regulatory, legislative and policy developments in technological and social innovation.
At the Observatory, we believe:
- that technological and social innovation represent a unifying new paradigm for legal research;
- that legal education should be redesigned to take into account the scientific, social and political developments of our times;
- in the need for a comparative approach to law & innovation;
- in the necessity of adopting an interdisciplinary approach in research. We seek to work on solutions that cut across boundaries of cultures, disciplines, and institutions;
- that the driving forces of research are excellence, cooperation and enthusiasm.
The projects of the Observatory broadly fall into the following areas:
- Technology (Data driven law; Data and private law; Code driven law; Digitalisation; Blockchain and Smart Contracts; AI; IoT; Automation);
- Markets (Disruptive Innovation; Innovation, Law & Markets; Consumers & Innovation; FinTech, InsurTech);
- Society (Technology for social good; Social Innovation)