Stem Cell Research Funding Policies and Dynamic Innovation: A Survey of Open Access and Commercialization Requirements

This article compares and contrasts the pressures of both open access data sharing and commercialization policies in the context of publicly funded embryonic stem cell research (SCR). First, normative guidelines of international SCR organizations were examined. We then examined SCR funding guidelines and the project evaluation criteria of major funding organizations in the EU, the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Canada and the United States. Our survey of policies revealed subtle pressures to commercialize research that include: increased funding availability for commercialization opportunities, assistance for obtaining intellectual property rights (IPRs) and legislation mandating commercialization. In lieu of open access models, funders are increasingly opting for limited sharing models or “protected commons” models that make the research available to researchers within the same region or those receiving the same funding. Meanwhile, there still is need for funding agencies to clarify and standardize terms such as “non-profit organizations” and “for-profit research,” as more universities are pursuing for-profit or commercial opportunities.

This content has been updated on January, 18 2016 at 12 h 12 min.