An Australian nonprofit is throwing a real nuts-n'-bolts blow for open source biotechnology. CAMBIA is unveiling Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) this January, a program which will "democratize innovation" by making freely available technologies for mapping and transferring genes. The potential benefits to developing nations are huge (including, for skeptics, the ability to independently assess the safety of GMO crops).
"'The open source revolution in information technology has proven itself rock solid as one of the greatest innovations in the history of creativity. If you decentralise the group of tool creators and make sure people are bound to a public good ethos, it works and makes money for people,' he said.
"The scientific tools under BIOS would be licensed under a similar agreement as the general public licence of the Linux computing community, Jefferson said.
"He said the current domination of biotechnology innovation by 'large monolithic corporations with high capital' was not serving the public at large, including developing nations, and had led to a 'legitimate unease by the public about biotech.'"
YEE-HAW! Open-source AIDS medications grown in your own back yard, here we come. . .