Clones welcome in scientific hardware
In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Open Hardware I review emerging business models for open source hardware.
One way a company can start the transition to the open source way is to open source a single product to drive sales of its other products.
A firm can open source the hardware they sell in order to expand the market of other parts of their product line.
The nitrate reductase from plants—NECi’s first enzyme product—reduces nitrate to nitrite, a first step in the chain that turns the elements into proteins and DNA.
NECi was founded to commercialize nitrate reductase, the focus of Dr. W.H.
They released the first recombinant nitrate reductase to the market as a reliable and cost-effective reagent for nitrate detection.
Open source nitrate testing photometer Perhaps more so here in Michigan than in other parts of the world, we are sensitive to the fact that environmental regulators can sometimes be an inadequate defense of human health from water pollution.
Then they collaborated with my lab by open sourcing a new photometer, which radically undercut the cost of other methods to detect nitrates using their nitrate reductase enzymes.
It is unlikely that NECi, a small enzyme company, will have the least expensive nitrate testing photometer on the market after a few years of international cloning.
In NECi’s case, it directly benefits from increased enzyme sales created by cloners—so cloners, clone away.