Over the next few days the Sage Bionetworks Commons Congress will bring to San Francisco biologists, informatics, and patient advocates to discuss about the Sage Commons project. Started two years ago by Stephne Friend, who quit his job at Merck to found it, Sage is a non-profit based in Seattle and devoted to the building of a huge, open source and collaborative genomics repository.
Sage was born to apply the free software model to genomics, a field where the need for open datasets and for cooperation among scientists is seen as a key issue: the wisdom of the crowd could be crucial to improve drug development and personalize medicine.
“We see this becoming like the Google of biological science. It will be such an informative platform, you won’t be able to make decisions without it,” Sage co-founder Eric Schadt says. He adds: “We want this to be like the Internet. Nobody owns it.”