Report Open Access

ISBE - establish a pipeline(s) for translation of suitable technologies and methodologies

Mc Kiernan, Eadaoin; Fitzmaurice, William

This report describes the ways in which companies that utilise systems biology in their operations currently interact with other stakeholders. The report goes on to focus on the issue of intellectual property management, identifying current best practices and potential ways IP could be managed through Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe.

The report is based on the results from the ISBE industry survey (detailed in the report entitled 'Industry survey document with results including an expertise and technology matrix.'), designed and executed by ISC Intelligence, a Brussels-based communication agency specialising in science, technology and R&D research and policy, in collaboration with University College Dublin. Further interviews were carried out with European Research Infrastructures including EATRIS and EU-SCREEN to identify the IP models they have implemented. These infrastructures were very open to sharing how their IP policies and to continue working on identify further synergies in other fields.

The responses of the various stakeholders in relation to intellectual property are outlined as well as some suggestions on how best manage IP in research projects. All of the companies who took part in the industry survey were asked an open question regarding their IPR policy. The question was “Can you describe your intellectual property policy when your company collaborates with others in research projects?” Fourteen of the organisations responded to the question with the respondents ranging from SMEs up to large multinational organisations across the bioinformatics and pharma sectors.

The meaning of patenting in Systems Biology is still difficult to define, as the area itself is new. Patenting by its own definition applies more to entities that are fixed, static and excluded from the external intervention. This is far from the dynamic and interactive complexity that is the object of the study in systems biology. Most of the patents referred in the survey are mainly computer-based models of biological systems.

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