Agreement to Share Bioengineering Resources Accelerates Research
In 2014, the BioBricks™ Foundation (BBF) and Addgene, a non-profit plasmid repository, negotiated an agreement to contribute biological parts to the public domain for use by bioengineering researchers under a BioBricks™ Public Agreement (BPA). This advance is supported[JT1] by researchers with the NSF-funded Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), which is headquartered at the University of California (UC) Berkeley.
The BBF’s mission is to ensure that the engineering of biology is conducted in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet. The BPA is a free-to-use legal tool developed by BBF that allows individuals, companies, and institutions to use material in its repository. By executing a BPA, Addgene is donating basic bioengineering knowledge to the public domain to help accelerate innovation, collapse timelines, and speed time-to-market of inventive bioengineering solutions to world problems while fostering ethical use of technology.
The BPA is part of a larger effort in the synthetic biology community to consider intellectual property and standards-setting, which will be vital to the success of synthetic biology. BBF’s legal program is working toward standards-setting with institutions, firms, governments, and individuals engaged in the field of synthetic biology. Numerous standards have been proposed, including those relevant to structure, function, description, measurement, data, information exchange, software, biosafety and biosecurity, and even law.