Open Source Biotechnology



This website provides an introduction to the emerging phenomenon of open source biotechnology. 

Open source is a distinctive approach to innovation that has matured in recent years within the software industry.  The term “open source biotechnology” refers to the idea of applying an analogous approach to innovation in the life sciences.  

In these pages, you will find brief responses to common questions about the concepts underpinning open source biotechnology, the problems it is intended to solve and real life initiatives seeking to translate the principles of open source into various fields of life sciences research and development.

For an in-depth discussion of these and related issues, feel free to download a copy of the book, BioBazaar: The Open Source Revolution and Biotechnology, or follow the links to other resources. 

Could open source do for biotechnology what it has done for software?


Quick links to Frequently Asked Questions

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 source-style 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?

What is open source biotechnology? 

What are the key elements of this approach?

What problems is it intended to address? 

Why would self-interested actors choose to participate? 

Are there any real-world examples of open source biotechnology? 

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Janet Hope, Australian National University, 2009-