Knowledge Management as a Precondition of Life Sciences Innovation

Speaker: Prof David Castle # Chair of Innovation in the Life Sciences, ESRC Innogen Centre, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

25th Oct 2010

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Room 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall

**ATTENDEES MUST PRE-REGISTER FOR THIS SEMINAR** To register - please email or call 0131 650 9113

3.30-5pm - followed by a wine reception (tea and coffee also available)


A preoccupation with formal intellectual property rights in science and technology innovation persists. Life sciences patents are often construed by funders of research, venture capitalists, and the private sector as indispensable for innovation. Others either doubt patents have a crucial role in innovation, or believe they are associated with variable outcomes needing more careful examination. Patents are also widely used as metrics of innovation, despite limitations in this method of measurement. The preoccupation with patents puts too much emphasis on one element of innovation when there are other aspects to consider. One aspect that is closely allied to formal intellectual property protection concerns the management of knowledge in pre- and post-competitive contexts. Knowledge management techniques can be used to analyse institutional contexts in which knowledge is created, tracked, accounted for, and transferred to other parties. A knowledge management framework was developed for a series of case studies of biotechnology innovation, focused on food security, in developing and industrialized countries. The case studies suggest a pattern of the determinants of success that importantly lie outside the context of intellectual property management. The framework and case studies will be presented, with some further reflection on the role that knowledge management techniques can, or ought to have, in setting priorities in approaches to open innovation that are gaining momentum.

David Castle will take up his Edinburgh appointment from 4th October. His post was created to build on the Innogen Centre’s research successes, and particularly to consolidate and grow its international and inter-disciplinary collaborations across social sciences, humanities, science and medicine.

For further information about accessibility please contact Angela McEwan on 0131 650 9113 or