Open Source Innovation vs Open Innovation

June 24, 2008  

Open Source InnovationI discussed Open Innovation many times in this blog.  The other day, GlaxoSmithKline announced that they are collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to make a “large body of cancer cell genomic data available to all cancer researchers.” This feels more like “Open Source” Innovation.

Much like Open Source Software, GSK has turned over a small fortune’s worth of information to the research community – for free.

Assuming that that the findings of the community are made public (the open source philosophy), this would almost certainly accelerate cancer research exponentially.  Each researcher could build on the ideas of others.

Most research groups are small organizations who do not have the capacity (or desire) to develop drugs.  Therefore, when breakthroughs are discovered, GSK can step back in and capitalize on the finding of the research community.  This will surely decrease their drug development times and costs.

I do wonder how they are handling intellectual property ownership issues that might emerge.  Stay tuned!

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