[open-science] Outlining the argument for open commercialization

Greg Austic gbathree at gmail.com
Thu Jun 20 15:48:53 UTC 2013

Great - thanks for the examples!

I will definitely share the presentation.  This first one (which is Monday)
will be short and focused on our specific project called Photosynq.  But we
hope that it will spark a broader discussions which would use more of these
examples and arguments.

Also, I did a small talk at Nerd Nite about this subject - a little more
tongue and cheek and a different audience, but it may be useful for others:


I made a folder to put similar presentations, pitches, etc. - feel free to
throw things in there.  If your talk was recorded, please include a link of
the video:

Not sure exactly the right way to organize this, but least getting similar
things in one place is useful.


On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM, Piotr Migdal <pmigdal at gmail.com> wrote:

> I added some examples, e.g. the StackExchange network (this one
> form StackOverflow) - the system is proprietary (and the thing is
> for-profit), but all user-created data is CC BY SA and made easy accessible
> via API and public database dumps (see e.g.
> http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/06/attribution-required/ for a
> discussion on it).
> BTW: Are your going to share your presentation?
> Regards,
> Piotr
> http://migdal.wikidot.com
> On 20 Jun 2013, at 14:29, Greg Austic <gbathree at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you everyone for your comments, help, slides, and suggestions!
> Re Florence - I'm using the words "open commercialization" not to exclude
> other words, but simply because that's the broadest terms I can put it in.
> Commercialization just means making a technology available to a market (end
> users)... so that's a very broad definition and leaves it up to the person
> doing the work how that process is organized, if it's for profit, etc.  So
> to me all the great work done in the collaborative economy completely fits
> into that definition.  However, so do awesome projects like publiclab.org,
> which is a traditional non-profit but is definitely commercialization
> technology and developing platforms to engage citizens in science, or
> Arduino or Raspberry Pi which make money from a product but do not hold
> exclusive rights to the hardware or software (though they do trademark the
> name).
> As in all cases, there are shades of openness, and if we could get
> universities in the US to move an inch in that direction it'd be a huge
> plus.  Perhaps some folks on the list don't know, but in the US most
> (though not all) universities requires professors, researchers, grad
> students, post docs, etc. to sign away their intellectual property rights
> when they start working.  So technology development decisions are basically
> in the hands of the tech transfer department (created through Bay Dohl act
> - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayh%E2%80%93Dole_Act), which most often
> leads nowhere, and occasionally leads to a patent which even more rarely
> leads to a product usually drowns in the cost of it's own IP.  The main
> site for accumulating this information is here:
> http://www.autm.net/source/STATT/index.cfm?section=STATT , but of course
> you have to pay to get the data :)
> In addition, Universities (both public and private) in the US are
> constantly fighting for more funds, as public funding is dropping like a
> stone.  There is an increasing reliance on external funding, and an
> expectation that anything which is done within the university MUST bring in
> additional money from outside to be considered at all.  So that puts a lot
> of pressure on open commercialization models because it's somewhat hard to
> argue they will generate more money, though there are many many other
> benefits (PR and branding, decrease costs, more consistent with the core
> values of the U, higher impact, etc. etc.) which others like Pawel have
> outlined.  It's possible to argue that you can get more grant money by
> opening up a project, but again we need lots of examples to be convincing.
> Sorry for the rant... but if we could really reinforce this argument
> effectively with case examples especially those relating to funding and
> especially ones from the literature as Mat said then we'd have a better
> chance.  And it only makes sense to share that argument and examples, as
> this argument will be in large part the same everywhere.
> Building this argument will take some time, and it may not be structured
> effectively in the google doc now (it's a bit of a mess), so feel free to
> jump in and make it better.
> Thanks,
> Greg
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 2:45 PM, Greg Austic <gbathree at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm a researcher at Michigan State University and am putting together a
>> presentation to promote the concept of open commercialization (bringing
>> technology to market without IP) to admin higher-ups  and I'd like your
>> help.
>> *I am looking for more examples to strengthen and simplify the arguments
>> for open commercialization (no intellectual property) versus traditional
>> commercialization*.  Ultimately, I would like to see this outline as
>> something that anyone can use to make a similar pitch at other universities.
>> If you'd like to help, please read through the outline<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v4bs4SfWk39UmMtxYYeW4DZwEE7lsFHGqoPMIy--C68/edit?usp=sharing>in google docsand add arguments, examples, and links wherever you see fit.  I've already
>> noted many places in the outline where I think specific examples would be
>> valuable.
>> *Please please share this with other people or lists that you think may
>> be helpful!*
>> I think that the time is ripe for making this argument, and Universities
>> may be ready to consider moving back towards a truly open model of
>> information.  Thanks so much for your help!
>> --
>> Greg Austic
>> PS - If you're interested in our specific project it's www.photosynq.org.
> --
> Greg Austic
> 2198 Seminole Dr.
> Okemos, MI 48864
> (919) 545 1083
> www.austiclabs.com
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Greg Austic

2198 Seminole Dr.
Okemos, MI 48864
(919) 545 1083

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