Lital Helman


The regulation of innovation-intensive industries is a critical issue for both innovation policy and regulation. In this Article, I propose a new framework to the way innovation-intensive industries are regulated.

My proposal is a four-pronged model, which I term “Curated Innovation.” In the first stage, policymakers would set a standard that would represent the outcome the regulation seeks to achieve. Second, policymakers would launch a competition, where innovative technologies or methods would race to meet the standard that was defined. Third, policymakers would select the methods or technologies that come closest to meeting the standard and create an incentive in the marketplace to adopt them. Such incentives can come in various forms, such as prizes, expedited patent paths, or safe harbors from liability. Finally, policymakers would reconvene periodically to update the standard and examine the performance of new technologies or methods.

Adoption of the Curated Innovation model would yield four key advantages. First, this model would improve the effectiveness of regulation because it would induce market-players to aim at the standard policymakers would set. Second, this model would spur innovation in the market by forming a path to the diffusion of the innovative solutions into the market. Hence, this model would ensure that innovation that has social value is not only produced but also adopted in the marketplace. Finally, this model would lead to evolvement of legal standards: it provides a dynamic process where the regulatory standard is constantly examined and updated to meet societal goals at an increasing rate of efficiency.