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Seminar "The Role of Regulators in Mitigating Uncertainty within the Valley of Death"

Organised by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and the Doctoral Program in Engineering and Public Policy of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto together with INESC TEC.



The essential cause of the ‘Valley of Death’ is the reluctance of the private sector to invest in technologies which are perceived as too risky. This risk has usually been assessed in terms of technology maturity.

However, uncertainty about whether a new product or technology complies with regulatory frameworks may also have an important effect on private sector investments. We use the cases of the Critical Path Initiative, in the pharmaceutical industry, and the Advanced General Aviation Transportation Experiments, in the general aviation industry, to analyze the role of regulatory agencies in decreasing three different types of regulatory uncertainty along the Valley of Death. We find that regulatory agencies play an important role as a social glue which helps coordinate industry-wide efforts.

Based on the comparison between the two cases, we create theory to explain the effect of regulatory uncertainty on the shape of the Valley of Death. Our theoretical framework may help agencies detect the major sources of regulatory uncertainty, and adapt their policies accordingly to facilitate the traverse of emerging technologies across the Valley of Death.


Short Bio: Dr. Jaime Bonnin Roca is an Assistant Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Technical University of Eindhoven, in The Netherlands. He studies how to manage the different sources of uncertainty in the adoption of emerging technologies, and the role of government in balancing the needs for safety and innovation. He is an alumnus of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal program, through which he obtained a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy.


Participation is free but registration is required here




  • Start

    17th October 2019
  • Start Hour

  • What

  • Promoters

  • City

  • Country

  • End

    17th October 2019
  • End Hour

  • Local

    Room L202, DEGI, FEUP
  • Address

    Campus da FEUP