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<nettime> BIOS - OSS Visions in Biology
Soenke Zehle on Sun, 7 Nov 2004 22:17:09 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> BIOS - OSS Visions in Biology

Check out <http://www.bios.net>, part of a much broader effort to counter 
the aggressive proprietarization in the natural sciences (here especially 
ag-bio-tech research, <http://www.cambia.org>) with OSS-derived models of 
research archives/commons etc., sz

About BIOS

BIOS is fundamentally an effort to develop new innovation systems for 
market failures and for neglected priorities.

BIOS holds to a '3-D' philosophy espoused by its founding institute, 

Democratize, Decentralize and Diversify.  These basic tenets of social, 
economic, and environmental responsibility can equally be applied to the 
harnessing of science and human creativity for improving the quality of 
life, and for promoting sound business and prosperous communities.

Design, Develop, Disseminate. Grand philosophical ambitions must be 
grounded with practical tools for achieving the goals in meaningful 
timeframe. The communications and information technology revolutions 
afford a unique ability to harvest and share information, knowledge and 
wisdom within and between communities that have been marginalized or 
inadequately served.

In so doing, we greatly multiply the potential for public good. However, 
to do so requires paradigmatic shifts in the culture of innovation, law, 
capital, intellectual property and indeed of business.

Hence BIOS and the BioForge.

The BIOS initiative will foster democratic innovation in the application 
of biological technologies, through the merging of

      * intellectual property informatics and analysis,
      * innovation system structural reform, and
      * cooperative open access technology development activities.

We are developing a web community to tangibly advance this ambitious 
activity to reform biological innovation.  Our goal is to empower diverse 
innovators and engage creative spirit of many more people in crafting 
solutions to their own problems, be they in food and agriculture, natural 
resource management, public health or medicine.

This experiment will test our understanding of the limits of this web 
space, in that we need to initiate threads of productive discussion, and 
undertake practical activities towards such challenges as:

     1. Porting the concepts, philosophies, normative behaviours, legal 
mechanisms and public enthusiasm for Open Source into the vastly more 
challenging area of patents, and biological research and development.
     2. Making new opportunities to engage the worldwide biological R&D 
community, empowering decentralized innovations and innovators.
     3. Cooperatively prioritizing, designing, generating and sharing 
transformative biological technologies that can improve the ability for 
locally committed people to solve their own problems, and address 
low-margin markets or market failures.
     4. Creating practical business models that can encourage the 
development of robust, economically viable small-to-medium enterprise 
formation to address neglected market opportunities.
     5. Creating the social and policy initiatives to make these things 
happen. This must include constructive engagement in patent law reform, 
international genetic resource policy, and much more.
     6. Generating new software innovations for cooperative technology 
development - e.g. BioForge - making Sourceforge-like toolkits and 
enabling environments in which scientists and interested problem-solvers 
around the world can cooperate to create real and practical innovations 
that can be preserved for public use, empowering both public and private 
sector to deliver attractive solutions.
     7. Pioneering new, cost-free public access databasing, parsing and 
informatics-rich technologies to render the massive, complex and opaque 
world of patents and IP into a transparent and stimulating structure for 
the public good, as originally intended by framers of patent systems.

        For more information, see the BIOS Initiative (PDF document) and 
the FAQ.

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