Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

Enhance EC member states competiveness in R & D
Part 8: Open source from s...
Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

It means the developing companies or people of these products do not have ...
Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

“Dr. Matthew Todd, head of the Todd Research Group, already has a major op...
Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

Debian. I give two examples of open source for science. NeuroDebian provid...
Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

the other science fields where you find an abundance of research projects ...
Jan Softa CEO of Somerco

Date: 2013 - 10 - 12

efficient energy, (d) smart, green and integrated transport, (d) inclusive...
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Open source from science to society

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Open source alternatives developed in science and applied in industry can help people and society to reduce costs and increase the basic level of living. I focus on four topics from science to society - pharmacy - computer – materials - societal. Open source has gained many advocates in most of these topics, while it is less developed in materials. To begin to develop open source agreements valid for Europe that cover as many social and industry sectors as possible will probably increase the competiveness of the European industry.

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Open source from science to society

  1. 1. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 Enhance EC member states competiveness in R & D Part 8: Open source from science to society Abstract Open source alternatives developed in science and applied in industry can help people and society to reduce costs and increase the basic level of living. I focus on four topics from science to society - pharmacy - computer – materials - societal. Open source has gained many advocates in most of these topics, while it is less developed in materials. To begin to develop open source agreements valid for Europe that cover as many social and industry sectors as possible will probably increase the competiveness of the European industry. Background Helping geniuses! Our slogan sums up who Somerco aims to help. Somerco are a company that target to help researchers and innovators so that these geniuses can create prosperity and jobs in society. In this paper, I discuss how open source solutions in science and industry can become a competitive advantage for Europe. Introduction Open source alternatives developed in science and applied in industry can help people and society to reduce costs and increase the basic level of living. I think open source is applicable to most research disciplines and many industry sectors. I focus on four topics from science to society - pharmacy - computer –materials - societal. For each, I give one science example and another example from industry. What is open source? In production and development, open source as a development model promotes a) universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and b) universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.1 Different types Open source works for small projects with just a few participants as well as large international projects with sometimes 1000s of contributors. CERN are in some aspects an example of the latter. Examples on small scale projects that are run by a few people can be found in the open source languages Joomla and Drupal. In Drupal you can start a sandbox project with just yourself or a few others. Open source for you, me and society When the industry and governmental projects opt for open source project there are challenges and benefits. I start by mentioning a few challenges for open source projects and then focus on the benefits. The idea behind open source is to make the product as accessible as possible for others. Therefore, products and services based on open source never have any IP-rights attached to it. 1 Open source.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source
  2. 2. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 It means the developing companies or people of these products do not have an exclusive right to earn money on these products or services. You can still earn money on it, but not you exclusively, which lower the potential for higher incomes. You also give up the right to decide how these products are going to be developed in the future. However, to give up the right to decide how these products are going to be developed in the future also give greater possibilities for others to develop new products and services based on your open source. Moreover, open source projects are often crowd-sourced. The benefits are that most of the time it goes faster to get an accumulated knowledge about the work task. The R & D phase can be shortened and thereby the cost be reduced. It means products can be offered to customers on the market faster in the EU-zone, which will turn into a huge competitive advantage for us. Examples First out is medicine and next one is about open source in computer software and hardware. Then I continue with open source for materials and end with social. In each of these four topics I discuss two examples, one example about science and another about industry or society. Pharmacy It is important to acknowledge the importance pharmacy companies have to medical treatment. These companies often patent their medicine and are absolutely vital for the future of the development of medicine. However, there is room for both patented drugs and open source. Open source projects in medicine has existed for a while and gained more advocates in the recent decade. Open source software and methods make large-scale collaborative research projects feasible, multiplying the brainpower applied to a project, expanding the data pool, and creating transparency and accountability. This is a huge win for the advancement of new treatments and cures, and cutting the costs of research.2 Science example More and more examples on open source science in medicine are to be found. An example on this are described in the speech: How does cancer know it's cancer? At Jay Bradner's lab, they found a molecule that might hold the answer, JQ1 -- and instead of patenting JQ1, they published their findings and mailed samples to 40 other labs to work on.3 Tropical diseases take a big toll in illness and death every year, but commercial medicine is not very interested in them because the profit potential is so low; the people affected by them are mainly in poor countries. Open Source Drug Discovery for Malaria, OSDD, was launched in 2011 as a worldwide hub for malaria drug research. The first participants were the Todd Research Group at the University of Sydney and the Medicines for Malaria Venture. The Medicines for Malaria Venture is a global organization with partnerships with universities, research labs, and pharmaceutical companies. OSDD makes good use of open source technologies: Twitter, Google+, MediaWiki, and The Synaptic Leap. 2 Open Source Medicine Puts Health Above Profits. http://www.itworld.com/itmanagementstrategy/267234/open-source-medicine-puts-health-above-profits 3 How does cancer know it's cancer? http://www.ted.com/talks/jay_bradner_open_source_cancer_research.html
  3. 3. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 “Dr. Matthew Todd, head of the Todd Research Group, already has a major open source drug success story, and that is the inexpensive synthesis of enantiopure praziquantel, the drug used to treat schistosomiasis (Bilharzia). This is a debilitating disease that affects about a half of a billion people worldwide. Enantiopure praziquantel is now on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines, and is distributed by WHO and the Gates Foundation.”4 Industry example When it comes to infectious diseases, sharing is generally discouraged. But recently, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened up the designs behind 13,500 chemical compounds, which the company narrowed down from over two million that may be capable of fighting malaria. The process of determine which compounds could yield a malaria drug is time consuming and complex, but GSK hopes to inspire other researchers to pool their intellectual property and work together to develop new and better medicines to fight the diseases that are rampant in the world’s poorest countries.5 Also pharmacy software is an important part of the open source development. GGA Software Services LLC has received an exclusive license from Pfizer Inc. to create and distribute an open-source version of Pfizer's internal chemistry electronic lab notebook, known as CeN, and Indigo ELN is the resulting open-source version that is available for your use, integration, and customization.6 Computer Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned. Hardware design (i.e. mechanical drawings, schematics, bills of material, PCB layout data, HDL source code and integrated circuit layout data), in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released with the FOSS approach.7 Science example In open source software there are several science projects run. An example is the OpenScience Project.8 What has grown into open source software projects that be compared to an industry level are Debian, Linux and more recently Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. Debian is an operating system composed of free software mostly carrying the GNU General Public License. The operating system is developed by an internet collaboration of volunteers aligned with The Debian Project. Much of the development in this project can be considered as regular development and maintenance, but you also find pure science oriented projects. Debian Science goals are to provide researchers and scientists better experience when using 4 Open source medicine puts health above profits. http://www.itworld.com/itmanagementstrategy/267234/open-source-medicine-puts-health-above-profits 5 Open pharmaceutical innovation. http://opensource.com/business/10/2/open-pharmaceutical-innovation 6 Indigo ELN: The Open-Source Chemistry Electronic Lab Notebook. http://www.ggasoftware.com/opensource/indigo/eln 7 Open-source software. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software; Open-source hardware. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware 8 The OpenScience Project. http://www.openscience.org
  4. 4. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 Debian. I give two examples of open source for science. NeuroDebian provides a large collection of popular neuroscience research software. Debian Med has the aim to develop Debian into an operating system that is particularly well fit for the requirements for medical practice and biomedical research. The goal of Debian Med is a complete free and open system for all tasks in medical care and research. To achieve this goal Debian Med integrates related free and open source software for medical imaging, bioinformatics, clinic IT infrastructure, and others within Debian OS.9 Industry examples In software, open source has many advocates. Less known are open source project and products in hardware. However, there are an association also for these advocates called Open Source Hardware Association.10 In computer hardware there are several open source components such as microprocessors, graphic cards and wireless hardware as sensors. I give two concrete examples on open source in hardware. The Beagle Board is a low-power open-source hardware single-board computer produced by Texas Instruments in association with Digi-Key and Newark element14. The other example Tinkerforge hardware and software are both Open Source, and all files are hosted on GitHub. Tinkerforge is a platform of stackable microcontroller building blocks (Bricks) that can control different modules (Bricklets). The primary communication interface of the building blocks can be extended using Master Extensions. This non-embedded programming approach eliminates the typical requirements and limitations (development tools, limited availability of RAM and processing power) of conventional embedded software development.11 Much can be learned of the computer sectors success in going open source in science and industry. It is probably the industry sector that has the largest percentage of advocates and also the largest turnover for its whole industry sector. Material Materials is one of the more diverse sciences because it is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. In addition, old and new industry processes are relevant for materials. Science example When in concern open source in material science I have found software aimed at helping researchers in material science. I have also found machines as the 3D printing machine. The purpose for developing this machine was opening up the opportunity to investigate printing ceramic membranes and reactors. The design of the printer (drawings, electronic layout, software) is publicly released under an open source license, free for others to adapt, build and use, e.g. in academic research. It highlights two issues when it concern material science projects. Its science projects might use or develop open source software for its research and it could use machines that have been open sourced. However, you do not easily find that the processed materials itself and the products that could have been developed from this has been open sourced. Compare this to 9 The Ultimate Neuroscience Software Platform http://neuro.debian.net/AND Debian Med. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-med/ 10 Open source hardware association. http://www.oshwa.org 11 [11]The Beagle Board. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Board AND Tinkerforge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
  5. 5. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 the other science fields where you find an abundance of research projects in computer science and also to an increasing extent in pharmacy which products are open sourced. It could be that the advocates in material science for open sourcing the material are not as strong in this research discipline as in the other two. Industry example Most materials in nature cannot be patented and are thereby open sourced. However, for a long time many products used in our homes and in industry are processed materials such as textiles, plastics and masonite. These processed materials are often patented and this is often the route that is chosen by industry. Is there room for open source in an industry for processed materials? Some are of this opinion and believe open source solutions have a future in this industry. It is believed this development will see an increased copying of nature. It is because nature has already discovered how to fabricate materials and to finesse chemistry in ways that are the envy of human engineers and chemists. Many companies, both established and startup are now focusing on harvesting enzymes from organisms in the environment for use in industrial processes. Popular examples of high-strength materials fabricated by biology at low temperature, pressure, and energy cost are spider silk and abalone shell.12 Societal Open sourcing social change. Can this be done? Before discussing the examples, I believe it needs to be clarified that it is important to distinguish those who opt for making their products and services open source and make a profit - from those who use open source with an explicit focus on tackling social challenges. To exemplify, in computers the Linux system is open source, but those selling it still make good profit. When it concern the social entrepreneurs open source solutions the profit is not the main goal, it is the benefit for society. Science example In many science fields there are advocates for open source in order to solve social challenges. The benefits are it will benefit many others conducting science and speed up the process of research. In return, it will go faster for its research results to be applied to society in many parts of Europe and the world. Also in EUs goals for innovation, research and development we find that they have a dimension to solve social challenges. A tool that will be used is Horizon 2020s funding of research projects. It is achallenge-based approach that will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake. It will include establishing links with the activities of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP). Its funding will be focused on the following challenges: (a) health, demographic change and wellbeing, (b) food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio-economy, (c) secure, clean and 12 Open-Source Biology And Its Impact on Industry. http://www.kurzweilai.net/open-source-biology-and-itsimpact-on-industry-2
  6. 6. Jan Softa CEO of Somerco Date: 2013 - 10 - 12 efficient energy, (d) smart, green and integrated transport, (d) inclusive, innovative and secure societies and (e) climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials.13 Industry example Social entrepreneurship is about tackling societal problems. The internet and social networking websites have been pivotal resources for the success and collaboration of many Social Entrepreneurs. Zidisha is a nonprofit peer-to-peer microfinance internet platform that allows people to lend small amounts of money directly to entrepreneurs in develop countries. In addition the internet allows for the pooling of design resources using open source principles. For example, the rise of open-source appropriate technology as a sustainable development paradigm enables people all over the world to collaborate on solving local problems just as open source software development leverages collaboration. Now what? Sharing knowledge for free is not new and historically we find different types of free to use like agreements. The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association in 1910s is an early example. The association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers.14 In EU you find a move toward more openness of the R & D results it funds. In Horizon 2020s funding of research projects they will promote publication in open access journals.15 Perhaps, the next step will be to discuss how open source can complement the regular way industry operates with filing patents. As we can see in some of the examples above, both can co-exist and be competitive. The benefit with open source in all types of social and industry sectors is it could be a contributing factor to the development of society. This is due to open source solutions are often cheaper so people, government and industry need to spend less money when they purchase these products.16 Moreover, to start to adopt open source agreements valid for Europe will probably increase the competiveness of the European industry because open source has come to stay and are increasing in importance. It would be beneficial with open source agreements that cover as many social and industry sectors as possible. Many people know about open source agreements in software such as GNU and I believe lessons can be learned from these types of agreements. It would be beneficial to map out what open source agreements that could be relevant and build upon their knowledge and develop one for the EU-zone. 13 Tackling Societal Challenges. http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=better-society Open source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source 15 Tackling Societal Challenges. http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=better-society 16 In some parts of Spain the government have replaced the use of Windows to the open source solution Ubuntu who are cheaper. 14

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