Institutional and Organizational Factors for Enabling Data Access, Exchange and Use Aims for DivSeek
The primary aim of DivSeek is “to enable breeders and researchers to mobilize…plant genetic variation to accelerate the rate of crop improvement”. To accomplish this, the DivSeek white paper describes the need to develop an information management platform that is adaptable to exogenous change and sets standards that enable data exchange, integration and interoperability between phenotypic and genotypic data related to genebank holdings. To accomplish its goals, DivSeek will design a governance structure and develop governance principles that encourage use and sharing of materials and data among a wide range of actors in all sectors: government, industry, university and other non-profit. While DivSeek has the potential to provide a valuable mechanism for increasing access to and use of genetic information needed for the development of new knowledge and innovation, there is much to learn from numerous prior efforts to create organizations and develop institutions that encourage research collaboration, sharing of data, and innovation within various scientific communities and disciplines and across stakeholder groups. Some of these initiatives have been considered successful, others have not. This study takes a case-based approach to investigate how similar prior initiatives have addressed competing objectives of partners through institutional structures and organizational designs. The study compares and contrasts collaborative research programs that have different governance structures, participants, rules in use, and mechanisms for interaction. The study will also assess their feasibility and fit with DivSeek objectives and provide guidance for the development and design of DivSeek governance.