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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Dr Kathy Liddell and collaborators Drs John Bradley, Robert Doubleday, and Nicola Patron have been awarded grants from the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and the OpenPlant research centre to hold an expert workshop on "Open Innovation and Large Bioresources: Goals, Challenges and Proposals.”  

The project unites key research groups with an interest in this field, including several departments and research centres from the University of Cambridge, The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, and the Cambridge biomedical campus.

The workshop will explore questions about the IP licensing practices of large genomic bioresources, including:

  1. What sorts of terms and conditions are typically stipulated in the IP and access policies of large-scale public bioresources in order to realise their goals (e.g. extensive/appropriate utilisation of the resources; appropriate openness; public benefit)?
  2. What does it mean for SynBio and genomic biobank technology platforms and resources to be 'open'? For example when some forms of IP protection can arise automatically without registration (eg copyright, database rights)?  How can/should the benefits of openness be integrated with policies to support upstream and downstream investment and commercialisation?
  3. What can prior experience with 'openness' and emerging technologies teach us (eg software development; human genome sequencing; creative commons licensing)?
  4. What policies are in place or needed to support an international platform of (relatively) open-source biotechnologies, which are readily available for research and commercial development without undue hindrances from IP protection and contractual limitations?

The workshop is likely to be held in the winter or spring of 2016.  Further details will be available closer to the date.

It builds on the success of an earlier workshop 'Realising Genomic Medicine: Intellectual Property Issues', the report for which is available here.