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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


Professor Dianne Nicol from the University of Tasmania will speak on the use of material transfer agreements (MTAs) in Australian university technology transfer offices and how these agreements may help, or hinder, innovation processes in biomedicine.

This topic is particularly of interest for synthetic biology due to the extensive use of restrictive MTAs for transfer of plasmids and other physical DNA. OpenPlant is working with the BioBricks Foundation to develop a more permissive OpenMTA to overcome some of these issues and we are gathering evidence for the level of impact of restrictive MTAs on accessibility and innovation in synthetic biology.

The talk will begin at 10am in room G26 of the Law Faculty and will run for about 40 minutes with an additional 20 minutes allocated for questions.


Background reading:

Nicol, Dianne, and Jane L. Nielsen. "Patents and medical biotechnology: An empirical analysis of issues facing the Australian industry." Available at SSRN 2583508 (2003).

Gold, E. Richard, and Dianne Nicol. "Beyond open source: patents, biobanks and sharing." Comparative Issues in the Governance of Research Biobanks. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 191-208.


Wednesday, 11 May, 2016 - 10:00 to 11:00
Event location: 
Beckwith Moot Court, Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site