To translate basic research into economic
growth requires private investment. The cost of bringing a genetically improved
plant or animal to the marketplace (whether improved by traditional or
biotechnology-based means) is in the millions of dollars. At the same time, the
bio-based firms that are likely to pursue the commercialization of our
discoveries will benefit greatly from the creativity of public researchers as a
'virtual research and development network.'
Pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act, NSF allows grantees to retain the
rights to intellectual property developed under its grants. This policy provides incentive for development and
dissemination of inventions, software, and publications that can enhance their
usefulness, accessibility, and upkeep. It does not, however, reduce the
responsibility of researchers and organizations to make results, data and
collections available to the research community.
To balance these needs, our databases will be copyrighted. Private firms will be
able to license access to the databases or physical materials (clones: see
below) for a cost-recovery fee, or license rights to commercialization of
specific genes or sets of genes. The database license will confer a cost
advantage to those who subsequently license specific genes or sets of genes.
We will provide free access to the databases by public researchers under a
memorandum of agreement (MOA) through the University of Georgia Research
Foundation that is largely standardized but with the incentive that researchers
will share in any royalties accruing from commercialization of discoveries that
they make. Physical materials will be made available under a similar MOA, on a
cost-recovery basis (see below).
The details of these arrangements, and access to MOAs, will be provided here in
the near future.
Project data links: