Stem Cell Research

Facilitating Collaboration in Stem Cell Research through Intellectual Property



The purpose of this research is to provide a systematic basis for designing a research and development (R&D) policy framework, and to facilitate knowledge transfer in the area of stem cell research. The proposed study will explore different frameworks for collaboration between government, industry and academic research centers and will propose effective valuation methods. 

Stem cell research is at the forefront of biotechnology research today; it forms an essential part of drug discovery, regenerative medicine and transplantation medicine. Yet, stem cell research, whether conducted in public and non-profit institutes or in the framework of the private sector, raises various legal and ethical issues concerning the patentability and commercialization of stem cell research. These issues could potentially impede research, create obstacles for collaboration at national and international levels and slow down the development of scientific discoveries. Therefore, we believe that these issues must be addressed in order to form a sound and effective R&D policy. The proposed research will analyze these issues and provide a comprehensive framework for designing an R&D policy that will foster stem cell research in Israel and will facilitate collaboration at national and international levels in the most effective manner. 

The research will explore and analyze the following aspects of stem cell R&D: ​ 

  • Stem cell R&D in Israel 
  • Regulatory schemes and legal/ethical impediments; 
  • Policy ramifications and legal strategy.  

The proposed study is particularly important given the high profile investments and the significant R&D activity that is taking place in this sphere in Israel. A sound stem cell R&D policy informed by policies designed abroad, and tailored for the Israeli setting, could facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer between the players in the field, namely the public, private and academic sectors. An informed policy may further allow Israel to take advantage of its current achievements and strengthen its position as a worldwide leader in stem cell research and entrepreneurship. 

This research project is based on close collaboration between two research groups: The Haifa Center for Law and Technology (University of Haifa), and the Samuel Neaman Institute, while each of the research teams offers an area of research expertise with a different emphasis on content and methodology all in the science policy research field.  

The study combined empirical work together with an analysis of the existing legal practices and ethical frameworks in Israel. The empirical work includes data and information retrieval and the mapping of R&D institutes and activities. The empirical work also consisted of questionnaires and personal interviews with scientists in the field of stem cells. The team further conducted a bibliometric study and generated the data needed for further examination of the factors and components required for evidence based policy making in this area. The University of Haifa team analyzed the legal aspects of stem cell research, identified the different legal strategies, conducted a thorough legal research and analysis, and compared the Israeli legal framework to those of the United States and Europe.  


Names of researchers: 

Prof. Niva Elkin-Koren 

Dr. Yael Bergman - Eshet 

Sharon Bar - Ziv 

Talya Ponchek

Dalit Sagiv 

In cooperation with the Samuel Neaman Institute, Technion: 

Related links: 

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