The question of how scientific institutions and communities manage and disseminate knowledge is critically important to our future. In biotechnology, there are on-going experiments with technologies and even downstream products where open source approaches to intellectual property are applied as a strategy to increase economic or social impact, reduce transaction costs and accelerate innovation. This talk will highlight efforts that aim to de-risk drug discovery, accelerate transitions to renewable technologies and increase equity for those in resource-poor contexts. I will describe the insights these examples might give us into the legal, economic and governance issues surrounding open technologies and their potential for building a sustainable and equitable bioeconomy, where biological knowledge is applied to innovating or improving on production of food, medicines, materials and more.
Dr Jenny Molloy is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge building technologies for an open, globally inclusive and equitable bioeconomy through the Open Bioeconomy Lab. She develops biomanufacturing tools and technologies that are sustainable by design and deployable in low-resource contexts. Her group also investigates the most effective ways that their research can make a positive impact in developing and emerging economies, particularly the effect of open licensing and collaborative development with end users. Jenny was a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Synthetic Biology, co-chairs the University of Cambridge Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre and is part of an independent multi-sectoral working group on Local Production and Diagnostic. She has co-founded four social enterprises and nonprofits supporting the development and deployment of open source tools for science.