Toward open source nano: Arsenic removal and alternative models of technology transfer

Michael Lounsbury, Christopher Kelty, Cafer T. Yavuz, Vicki L. Colvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the wake of growing pressures to make scholarly knowledge commercially relevant via translation into intellectual property, various techno-scientific communities have mobilized to create open access/open source experiments. These efforts are based on the ideas and success of free and open source software, and generally try to exploit two salient features: increased openness and circulation, and distributed collective innovation. Transferring these ideas from software to science often involves unforeseen challenges, one of which is that these movements can be deemed, often incorrectly, as heretical by university administrators and technology transfer officers who valorize metrics such as number of patents filed and granted, spin-off companies created, and revenue generated. In this paper, we discuss nascent efforts to foster an open source movement in nanotechnology and provide an illustrative case of an arsenic removal invention. We discuss challenges facing the open source nano movement that include making a technology widely accessible and the associated politics of metrics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-78
Number of pages28
JournalAdvances in the Study of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Growth
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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