Period: January 2009 - December 2010
Granting organization: Centre for Society and Genomics (CSG)
Dr. D. Stemerding (Dirk) (project leader)
Dr. ir. R. Nahuis (researcher)
Prof. Dr. S Kuhlmann (Stefan) (co-supervisor)
Current research examines genomics developments in healthcare in comparison to clinical genetics. Knowledge and medical applications of genomics come about in different ways than was the case in clinical genetics in the past. Genomics research takes place in large-scale international cooperation in which both public authorities and private companies are heavily investing. It focuses on common diseases in which multiple genes and environmental factors play a role, whereas traditional clinical genetic testing is mainly concerned with rare hereditary diseases related to changes in a single gene. Much more than in clinical genomics, genetics research is oriented at patients and families in the clinic.
The first hypothesis is that the emergence of genomics not only redefines the research agenda, but also involves a transformation of the ‘innovation regime’ that provides orientation and coordination to research practices. The second hypothesis is that this regime transformation also implies new ways of ‘valorization’ – the way in which research is translated into applications, tends to become defined in terms of commercially viable applications rather than in terms of direct clinical relevance.
This project examines how innovations in genomics research are shaped and how the notion of valorization acquires specific meanings in these processes. Which stakeholders are involved? How do they influence the production of knowledge? What does valorization mean in practice? The aim is to reflect on how valorization within the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) is performed and to what extent that meets with existing expectations about the social relevance of genomics in healthcare.