Six recommendations on “Synthetic Biology & Intellectual Property Rights”
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In September 2014 the European Commission’s Scientific Committees published a Final Opinion, which defines synthetic biology (SB) as follows: “SynBio is the application of science, technology and engineering to facilitate and accelerate the design, manufacture and/or modification of genetic materials in living organisms”. This operational definition offered by the Scientific Committees is derived from a working understanding of SynBio as a collection of conceptual and technological advances. It is sufficiently broad to include new developments in the field and also addresses the need for a definition that enables risk assessment.In order to promote an adequate development of SB that will secure innovation and cooperation and prevent fragmentation, it is important to identify and assess new risks and other issues early on to enable scientists, industry, funding agencies and other stakeholders to discuss and agree on the best approach to tackle the large variety of challenges associated with this rapidly evolving discipline. SB combines many overlapping disciplines and is based on a culture advocating the free exchange of research results. Thus one of the main challenges can be found in the growing debates over the role of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in stimulating or hindering research and development (R&D) and – ultimately – innovation .On 26th November 2013, the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation organized an expert meeting on “SB & IPRs” in Copenhagen sponsored by the European Research Area Network (ERA-NET) in SB (ERASynBio) . The meeting brought together ten experts from different countries with a variety of professional backgrounds (see Table 1). It consisted of a series of presentations followed by discussions in smaller groups that focused on the following questions: What is the impact of the current IP framework on innovation in SB? Is there any empirical evidence of a negative/positive impact? If there is a negative impact, are there particular innovative solutions or models employed in other sectors that could support the robust development of SB?The aim of this publication is to provide an unbiased overview of the major issues and recommendations discussed during the expert meeting. Although SB may involve many different IPRs, the discussions focused in particular on patents and patent-related rights. It should be emphasized, that the authors of the current document do not necessarily share all the views expressed in this publication.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Feb 2015|