The concept of ‘smart rules and regimes’ aims to focus attention on legal instruments that foster technological innovation while providing safeguards against technological risks. The leading question of this contribution is why smart rules and regimes are relevant to policies fostering innovation and how they may be the object of a legal design methodology. The main objective of this effort is to emphasize that there is more to fostering innovation than deregulation, and to elucidate possible avenues for further research into legal design of relevant rules and regimes. Firstly, I will present a (Dutch-based) viewpoint on the ‘innovation– regulation’ relationship (section 3.2). Next I aim to provide clarification (in section 3.3) on the concept of ‘smart rules and regimes’, especially in relation to technological innovation. Subsequently, some ideas are presented (in section 3.4) on a possible legal design methodology towards the making of ‘smart rules and regimes’. Finally, I will draw some conclusions and make suggestions for further research (in section 3.5).