Richard Jefferson

Founder CEO of CAMBIA
Professor of Science
Technology & Law, QUT

Born in California, Richard obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado, followed by an NIH fellowship in Cambridge where he conducted the world's first field release of a transgenic food crop, and created and distributed what is now amongst the most widely cited and licensed plant biotechnologies. After working with the FAO of the United Nations as Senior Molecular Biologist he founded Cambia in Canberra in 1991.

Cambia is an autonomous international non-profit institute that creates new technologies, tools and paradigms to bring efficiency and equity to life-sciences enabled innovation.

The Cambia BiOS Initiative ( – the biological open source movement - is an integrated response to increasing science and technology complexity, patent thickets and innovation system inefficiencies. The BiOS Initiative created the first patent-based commons mechanism for science-enabled innovation, and has been the trendsetter in new thinking about patents and public good. As part of this work, CAMBIA created the Patent Lens, (, now the pre-eminent independent public, global open access resource for increasing patent transparency. Richard has worked and taught extensively in the developing world, supporting the Rockefeller Foundation's biotechnology network for over ten years, and has been a consultant for many UN Agencies. He has been profiled in media including The Economist, Newsweek, Nature Biotechnology, New Scientist, Wired, and Red Herring.

CAMBIA's work has recently featured in cover editorials in many major life sciences journals. In 2003 he was named by Scientific American to the List of the World's 50 most influential technologists, cited as the World Research Leader for 2003 for Economic Development. In 2005

Richard was awarded the Leadership in Science: Public Service Award by the American Association of Plant Biologists. Richard is an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Schwab Foundation, for which is a regular panelist at the Davos meetings of the World Economic Forum. In 2009, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Richard became Professor of

Science, Technology & Law at the Queensland University of Technology, and Founding Director the Initiative for Open Innovation (IOI).


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Brisbane 4000 QLD

Telephone +61 419 499 753 or +1 510 229 0977