The Industrial Cooperation Project (ICP) was conceived to provide a broad understanding of industrial sectors and a possible map of commons-based production by industrial actors and industries as a whole, as opposed to commons-based production by individuals. The Wealth of Networks began the task of looking at various “verticals” or industry sectors that had a major impact on development, like educational materials, biological innovation around both health and food, and software and information technology, and outlined then-present practices aimed at provisioning these goods on commons-based models. The ICP extended that approach no new fields: alternative energy, biotechnology (genomics and diagnostic kits), educational materials and telecommunications. Understanding how Intellectual Property affects innovation in each of those sectors - and how external forces, such as public policies or "market interventions" shape that interference - was a central theme of the research.
We will publish our results in the fall of 2010. But an early analysis of the research finds evidence for commons-based production in industrial sectors where the knowledge products are more inherently digital, like in educational materials and genomics. So far we do not see large-scale, system-wide commons-based production in industrial sectors that reflect more traditional manufacturing practices, like alternative energy and diagnostic kits - although we do find very interesting sub-sectors that are undergoing transformation that looks very similar to commons-based production.
What is most interesting is the changes in institutions that are leading to commons based practices in industrial sectors. Because of the role of large, non-individual corporate bodies in governing the knowledge in industry, there is a real need to intervene in industrial practice and policy to create the basic conditions and incentives for corporations to engage in CBP.
The talk will explore some of the preliminary results from sectors, and pose some questions about how best to create the boundary settings that facilitate the emergence of CBP across different classes of industrial sectors.
Carolina Rossini is a Fellow with the Cooperation Research Group at the Berkman Center, coordinating the Industrial Cooperation Project. She is an attorney with experience in intellectual property, international development, innovation policy, internet policy, the digital commons, and the impact of technology on cultures. Carolina is a legal advisor of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington in Intellectual Property and Innovation International Negotiations.