Abstract: The importance of access to intellectual property rights (IPR) protected subject-matter in two crucial areas – public health, and educational and cultural engagement – has been extensively demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they involve separate legal areas, patent and copyright, the common thread linking the two is intellectual property’s difficult relationship with access in the public interest. This paper examines the tensions caused by access barriers, the tools used to reduce them and their effectiveness. It is clear that the access barriers magnified by COVID-19 are not restricted to narrow or specific contexts but are widespread. They are created by, and are a feature of, our existing IPR frameworks. Open movements provide limited remedies because they are not designed to, nor can adequately address the wide range of access barriers necessary to promote the public interest. Existing legislative mechanisms designed to remove access barriers similarly fail to effectively remedy access needs. These existing options are premised on the assumption that there is a singular “public” motivated by homogenous “interests”, which fails to reflect the plurality and cross-border reality of the public(s) interest(s) underpinning the welfare goals of IPR. We conclude that a systemic re-evaluation is required and call for positive and equitable legal measures protective of the public(s) interest(s) to be built within IPR frameworks that also address non-IPR barriers. The current pandemic and development of a “new normal” provides a crucial opportunity to comprehensively consider the public(s) interest(s), not just during a global health crisis, but on an ongoing basis.
“We are a global, not-for-profit members’ organization working to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D through pre-competitive collaboration….
The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit members’ organization conceived in 2007 and incorporated in 2009 by representatives of AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis and Pfizer who met at a conference in Pistoia, Italy. This group shared the opinion that life science R&D was changing beyond recognition, and that organizations could not afford to ‘go it alone’ in order to integrate emerging technologies and continue to deliver life-changing therapies to patients. The Pistoia Alliance’s projects help to overcome common obstacles to innovation and to transform R&D – whether identifying the root causes of inefficiencies, working with regulators to adopt new standards, or helping researchers implement AI effectively. There are currently more than 100 member companies – ranging from global organisations, to medium enterprises, to start-ups, to individuals – collaborating as equals on projects that generate value for the worldwide life sciences community….”
“Following on from our previous post – summarising our discussion of inhibitions towards experimental publishing – this post looks at how we can stimulate experimentation, looking to understand how it can be encouraged within academic publishing and how some of the inhibitions described previously can be addressed. The following is a summary of our discussions.
Underlying our discussions were the following questions:
How can we stimulate the uptake of experimental publishing and the creation of experimental long-form publications, and the reuse of and engagement with OA books?
What projects/platforms/software do we need to be aware of and in touch with?
What strategies should we devise to stimulate experimentation and reuse?….”
“The mission of the eLife Innovation Initiative is to support a community of open innovators who are developing tools to change the ways we discover, consume, evaluate and share research. Through organising the eLife Innovation Sprint and participating in other community events, we have seen a wealth of ideas and prototypes supporting these goals, but we’ve also realised that many of these projects are often not sustained beyond the Sprint events at which they are conceived.
This motivated us to start our eLife Innovation Leaders programme, a five-month open leadership training and mentorship course designed to empower innovators in the open-source-for-open-science community, to help them to lead and develop their tools and projects openly, and to think more strategically about long term project sustainability. The curriculum covered key topics in project ideation, launch and growth, such as design thinking, user research, prototyping, team building and marketing. We believe that projects are more likely to be sustainable when they are “open by design”– that they encompass carefully-designed processes for others to contribute to, and collaboratively develop, the project together.”
“Qualitative data reuse has been made increasingly possible both through a proliferation of accessible data sources, and innovation in research methods. Over the last two decades there have been large scale investments in archives and repositories capturing a ‘tsunami’ of new data. Furthermore, there has been tremendous innovation in wide-ranging methods of qualitative data re-use (e.g. Irwin and Winterton, 2011; Davidson et al. 2018; Hughes et al. 2020; Jamieson and Lewthwaite, 2019; Tarrant and Hughes, 2019; Hughes and Tarrant, 2020). Not only are qualitative data important documents of human life, they are an endlessly creative resource that connect us to the much longer social histories of which we are part. As the lockdown makes traditional approaches to qualitative research challenging, now is an appropriate time for us to reconsider the tendency for primary data generation to be the ‘go to’ form of fieldwork and new research.”
“The questions GenR wants to ask in the context of COVID-19 are what challenges are driving innovation in the Open Science community involved in delivering and developing technical systems.
Open Science has been pushing forward on many fronts with systems, tools, and workflows for greater reproducibility, dissemination, and societal impact of new knowledge. …”
“One may see Open Science (which some prefer to call Open Research) as an altruistic movement towards opening up research methods and especially its outputs for the sake of their visibility and open availability to the wider society. The legitimate right for any citizen to read research outputs resulting from public funding is regularly raised by every Open Access advocate – including yours truly – when explaining the rationale for Open Science. Patients, schoolteachers, doctors are highlighted as the sort of citizens that may need to access scientific literature and may be forced to pay for such access unless we succeed in our push towards Open Science. And SMEs. Yes, one always mentions SMEs here as well. In fact anyone who happens to be outside the institutional subscription bubbles.
There is another take to Open Science though, a far more pragmatic and hence more likely to succeed approach. This other take, although not unconcerned with access to research results by the average citizen, is mostly about the possibility of exploiting the synergies between research and industry by making not only research results but other areas such as research facilities or expertise as openly available to industry (and the wider outside world) as possible. This is the approach driven by innovation that sees research and its commercial application as a continuum and understands the value of openness for the purpose of realising that continuum….”
From Google’s English: “Established indicators for research and innovation processes have so far insufficiently covered open science and open innovation. As a result, their chances and risks often remain in the fog. A new discussion paper therefore makes proposals for the extension of existing and the development of new indicators. We looked at possible innovations in the field of open science….”
“The background: OpenAIRE is a platform funded and supported by European Commission with the mission to shift scholarly communication towards openness and transparency and facilitate innovative ways to communicate and monitor research. The long term vision of OpenAIRE is to transform society through validated scientific knowledge allowing citizens, educators, funders, civil servants and industry to find ways to make science useful and comprehensive.
Open Innovation: OpenAIRE launches within the framework of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, its Open Innovation programme to discover, support and fund innovative ideas and implementations of software in the Open Science domain. This is achieved by the mingle of external and internal ideas that will lead to the co-creation of fresh business ideas and the formation of an innovation ecosystem with would-be-entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs, closely related to OpenAIRE. The Open Innovation programme will select innovative projects in the field of Open Science to develop products and services linked to scholarly works, repositories, data management, OpenAIRE infrastructure and OpenAIRE services. Furthermore, ideas that make use of current assets available within OpenAIRE and create new services for the Open Science ecosystem (and EOSC) are welcome!
The challenges: Through this open call, OpenAIRE calls young innovators and SMEs to work on one of the following three challenges, so as to improve or to build on the current infrastructure, by picking up the one that fits best with your experience, skills, and motivation….”
“OpenAIRE is happy to announce its programme for Open Innovation!
OpenAIRE is looking for dynamic innovators to create fresh new business ideas! The objective of the Open Innovation Programme is to attract new stakeholders to address three identified challenges in OpenAIRE collaboratively:
- Next Generation Repositories
- Build value-added data products for OpenAIRE
- Enhance the current services of OpenAIRE…”