Standards, Data Exchange and Intellectual Property Rights in Systems Biology

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Esther van Zimmeren, Berthold Rutz, Timo Minssen

Intellectual property rights (IPRs) represent a key concern for researchers and industry in basically all (high-tech) sectors. IPRs regularly figure prominently in scientific journals and at scientific conferences and lead to dedicated workshops to increase the awareness and “IPR savviness” of scientists. In 2015, Biotechnology Journal published a report from an expert meeting on “Synthetic Biology & Intellectual Property Rights” organized by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation sponsored by the European Research Area Network (ERA-Net) in Synthetic Biology (ERASynBio), in which we provided a number of recommendations for a variety of stakeholders. The current article offers some deeper reflections about the interface between IPRs, standards and data exchange in Systems Biology resulting from an Expert Meeting funded by another ERA-Net, ERASysAPP. The meeting brought together experts and stakeholders (e.g. scientists, company representatives, officials from public funding organizations) in systems biology (SysBio) from different countries.  Despite the different profiles of the stakeholders at the meeting and the variety of interests, many concerns and opinions were shared. In case particular views were expressed by a specific type of stakeholder, this will be explicitly mentioned in the text. This article reflects on a number of particularly relevant issues that were discussed at the meeting and offers some recommendations.

 

SysBio involves the study of biological systems at a so-called systems level. This is not a new concept in the life sciences – many former approaches in physiology, enzymology and other scientific disciplines have already taken a systemic view of selected biological subjects. Yet, SysBio has gained strong interest within the past 10 to 15 years. One predominant reason and a critical prerequisite for this success story being that the relevant scientific methodologies and research tools have become far more powerful and accurate.  Remarkable technical progress allows scientists to generate, collect, display and analyse quantitative and qualitative data on biological processes and activities in much greater volumes, velocity, variety and veracity. The skilful integration of multiple heterogeneous data sets allows scientists to model and predict biological processes. SysBio’s interdisciplinary nature requires data, models and other research assets to be formatted and described in standard ways to enable exchange and reuse of high quality data. This allows a more effective utilisation of the enormous potential that rests in “big data” analysis. Finally, SysBio is often closely linked to or provides the foundation for Synthetic Biology (SynBio). Standardization and data exchange in SysBio may result in challenges and opportunities related to IPRs. The aim of this article is to raise awareness on these issues within the SysBio scientific community and to stimulate exploration of different strategies for dealing with IPRs in order to optimize access to and use of valuable research results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology Journal
Volume11
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1477-1480
Number of pages4
ISSN1860-6768
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Biotechnology Journal is happy to announce its new and increased 2015 Impact Factor of 3.781.
See our top cited articles below.

To submit an article please check our Author Guidelines at www.biotechnology-journal.com and submit the article via https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/btj

For any questions related to Biotechnology Journal, please contact btj@wiley.com.

About Biotechnology Journal

- Impact Factor: 3.781
- Edited by Sang Yup Lee (KAIST, Korea) and Alois Jungbauer (BOKU, Austria)
- Indexed in PubMed, ISI Web of Science and Scopus
- Fast peer review (first decision on average 4 weeks)
- Fast publication (online publication within days of acceptance)
- BTJ published in liaison with AFOB, EBSA and ESBES

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Law - systems biology, intellectual property, patents, standards, data exchange, databases

ID: 164250753