Anthony Roberts

The RCVS and innovation: what next?

Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS, explained why the College is engaging with innovation.

He aimed to convince delegates that the regulatory aspects of innovation could be as exciting and engaging as the technology and process aspects.

Explaining that the College’s focus on innovation had begun with the joint RCVS/BVA Vet Futures initiative, he reminded delegates that one of the findings from that project had been that the profession had to be proactive in the area of innovation or it risked missing out, resulting in vets being sidelined.

One of the ambitions to emerge from Vet Futures concerned promoting innovation and demonstrating that the profession welcomes it and is open to it.

Reflecting this, the RCVS’s latest strategic plan stresses the need to put leadership and innovation at the heart of the College and to support it creatively and with determination.

Mr Roberts said that, at this time of unprecedented change, new technologies are developing exponentially, new business models are emerging and there is huge investment into the animal health sector. The RCVS has to be involved in this or the veterinary professions might face disruption.

The RCVS also has to ensure that it has an appropriate system of regulation that will be adaptable to this fast-moving, volatile and uncertain market.

Innovation is an irresistible force, he said, and it is incumbent on the veterinary profession to start understanding new technologies and how they might disrupt existing veterinary business models.

While there seems to be huge interest in innovation among vets, Mr Roberts said it appears that they do not necessarily understand how they can engage and be involved with it, and how they might embed new technologies in their practices.

Mr Roberts said that, at this time of unprecedented change, new technologies are developing exponentially, new business models are emerging and there is huge investment into the animal health sector. The RCVS has to be involved in this or the veterinary professions might face disruption.

The RCVS also has to ensure that it has an appropriate system of regulation that will be adaptable to this fast-moving, volatile and uncertain market.

As the regulator, the RCVS believes that veterinary professionals should be at the heart of innovation in the animal health sector. It has to understand how the market is evolving and ensure that its regulatory regime is appropriate and adaptable, and not only fosters innovation but also gives the highest standards of protection to animal health and welfare.

Mr Roberts announced the launch of ViVet, a new initiative to promote innovation in the animal health sector. Delegates were shown a short animated video describing the initiative.

Concluding, Mr Roberts said the RCVS will be seeking to provide regulatory help and guidance to anyone who wants to be involved in the veterinary/animal health market.

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