Philip Shapira

Part-Time Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
Office Location:
DM Smith 314

Overview

Philip Shapira is a Professor in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology and Professor of Management, Innovation and Policy with the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. His interests encompass science and technology policy, economic and regional development, innovation management and policy, industrial competitiveness, technology trajectories and assessment, innovation measurement, and policy evaluation. Prof. Shapira's current and recent research includes projects that examine nanotechnology research and innovation systems assessment, responsible research and innovation in synthetic biology, and next generation manufacturing and institutions for technology diffusion. Prof. Shapira is a director of the Georgia Tech Program in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and the Georgia Manufacturing Survey. He is co-editor (with J. Edler, P. Cunningham, and A. Gök) of the Handbook of Innovation Policy Impact (Edward Elgar 2016) and (with R. Smits and S. Kuhlmann) of Innovation Policy: Theory and Practice. An International Handbook (Edward Elgar, 2010). Prof. Shapira is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

For recent publications by Prof. Shapira, please visit: http://works.bepress.com/pshapira/ and Google Scholar.

Philip Shapira is on Twitter @pshapira

Education:
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, City and Regional Planning
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, Economics
  • M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, City Planning
  • Dip.TP (Dist.), Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, U.K.

Interests

Research Fields:
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
Geographic
Focuses:
  • Asia (East)
  • Europe
  • United States
  • United States - Georgia
Issues:
  • Regional Development
  • Emerging Technologies - Innovation
  • Small and Midsize Enterprises
  • Technology Management and Policy

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Bioengineering Horizon Scan 2020
    In: eLife [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: May 2020

    Horizon scanning is intended to identify the opportunities and threats associated with technological, regulatory and social change. In 2017 some of the present authors conducted a horizon scan for bioengineering (Wintle et al., 2017). Here we report the results of a new horizon scan that is based on inputs from a larger and more international group of 38 participants. The final list of 20 issues includes topics spanning from the political (the regulation of genomic data, increased philanthropic funding and malicious uses of neurochemicals) to the environmental (crops for changing climates and agricultural gene drives). The early identification of such issues is relevant to researchers, policy-makers and the wider public.

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  • Private and public values of innovation: A patent analysis of synthetic biology
    In: Research Policy [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: 2020

    Emerging science and technology fields are increasingly expected to provide solutions to societal grand challenges. The promise of such solutions frequently underwrites claims for the public funding of research. In parallel, universities, public research organizations and, in particular, private enterprises draw on such research to actively secure property rights over potential applications through patenting. Patents represent a claim to garner financial returns from the novel outcomes of science and technology. This is justified by the potential social value promised by patents as they encourage information sharing, further R&D investment, and the useful application of new knowledge. Indeed, the value of patents has generated longstanding academic interest in innovation studies with many scholars investigating its determinants based on econometric models. Yet, this research has largely focused on evaluating factors that influence the market value of patents and the gains from exclusivity rights granted to inventions, which reflect the private value of a patent. However, the patent system is a socially shaped enterprise where private and public concerns intersect. Despite the notion of the social utility of inventions as a patenting condition, and evidence of disconnection between societal needs and the goals of private actors, less attention has been paid to other interpretations of patent value. This paper investigates the various articulations of value delineated by patents in an emerging science and technology domain. As a pilot study, we analyse patents in synthetic biology, contributing a new analytical framework and classification of private and public values at the intersections of science, economy, and society. After considering the legal, business, social and political dimensions of patenting, we undertake a qualitative and systematic examination of patent content in synthetic biology. Our analysis probes the private and public value propositions that are framed in these patents in terms of the potential private and public benefits of research and innovation. Based on this framework, we shed light on questions of what values are being nurtured in inventions in synthetic biology and discuss how attention to public as well as private values opens up promising avenues of research in science, technology and innovation policy.

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  • Collaborating constructively for sustainable biotechnology
    In: Scientific Reports [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: December 2019

    Tackling the pressing sustainability needs of society will require the development and application of new technologies. Biotechnology, emboldened by recent advances in synthetic biology, offers to generate sustainable biologically-based routes to chemicals and materials as alternatives to fossil-derived incumbents. Yet, the sustainability potential of biotechnology is not without trade-offs. Here, we probe this capacity for sustainability for the case of bio-based nylon using both deliberative and analytical approaches within a framework of Constructive Sustainability Assessment. We highlight the potential for life cycle CO2 and N2O savings with bio-based processes, but report mixed results in other environmental and social impact categories. Importantly, we demonstrate how this knowledge can be generated collaboratively and constructively within companies at an early stage to anticipate consequences and to inform the modification of designs and applications. Application of the approach demonstrated here provides an avenue for technological actors to better understand and become responsive to the sustainability implications of their products, systems and actions.

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Chapters

  • Scientists’ and the Public’s Views of Synthetic Biology
    In: Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance
    Date: 2020

    This chapter examines similarities and differences between scientists’ and nonscientists’ views of synthetic biology and the factors that shape them, as well as limitations of available research and the need for more focus on the views of both groups. We combine data from a survey of researchers in synthetic biology and a nationally representative survey of US adults on synthetic biology to compare the characteristics of respondents in each group and how those general characteristics could shape each group’s views. Our analyses found substantial religious and ideological differences between experts and members of the public in the US. We also found that levels of religious guidance and political ideology relate to different perceptions of synthetic biology and in different ways depending on one’s experience as either a researcher in the field or as a member of the public. We call for more, and more detailed, social science research to facilitate effective public engagement that creates space for the variety of views and concerns that will shape synthetic biology and its governance.

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