The 2011 International Algae Competition is a global challenge to design visionary algae food and energy systems: algae landscape designs, algae production systems and new algae foods.
Why is the Competition Open Source?
The Competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. As an open source competition, all entries will be showcased online. Users can use the content for teaching and sharing by following normal citation guidelines to give credit to the content originators.
Sufficient knowledge about algae production exists today to support successful cultivation. Unfortunately, much of the best knowledge rests with a few elite scientists and entrepreneurs who must sequester their research findings due to intellectual property limitations. Publicly funded projects should include a sunshine law- allowing public access to research findings after time has passed.
The algae industry today is fractured as each company acts to protect intellectual property behind a wall of secrecy. Scientists are prevented by non-disclosure agreements to collaborate with others or share production breakthroughs and real costs of productivity metrics. This secrecy leads to mistakes in algae production that are repeated multiple times. Companies do not readily share mistakes for fear the next round of funding will dissolve. Secrecy creates blindness, leaving students, researchers, press and policy makers without the most up-to-date knowledge. This degree of secrecy concentrates rather than expands knowledge, and slows innovation.
To allieviate this public access problem, Algaecompetition.com supports a collaboratory open to everyone to share ideas. Emerging technologies will create unanticipated consequences. One solution for creating positive impacts will be to help assure that scientists, policymakers and the public have access to information.