An introduction to open source biotechnology

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an introduction to the emerging phenomenon of ‘open source biotechnology’ (OSB). It explores a number of questions commonly raised by innovators, intellectual property (IP) practitioners and end users about the desirability and feasibility of translating the open source model of software development into the life sciences. For example: What is OSB? What specific problems is it intended to solve? What are the key elements of an open source approach outside the software context? In the absence of proprietary control over their contributions, why would self-interested actors choose to participate in open sourcestyle collaboration? How does OSB address problems of excessive proprietary control over knowledge inputs? Are there any real-world examples of OSB? And finally, what are the major challenges in implementing this approach? The responses provided to these questions are not intended to be conclusive. Rather, they are offered as a conversation starter for anyone interested in exploring possible applications of the open source model in a new context. For this reason, the discussion assumes no more than a basic knowledge of the relevant fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntellectual Property Policy Reform: Fostering Innovation and Development
EditorsChristopher Arup, William van Caenegem
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781848441637
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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