DeLano Scientific produces positive scientific software experiences through products, services, partnership, and advocacy.
Goals and Approaches
Maximize our positive impacts on science, medicine, and education.
Keep our products and services affordable so that all can benefit from them.
Succeed economically and so become an enduring catalyst of scientific progress.
Offer some of the most compelling value-for-value exchanges in industry and academia.
Directly enable early discovery research, where needs are diverse and resources scarce.
Promote open code, open architectures, open standards, and open data, whenever feasible.
Deliver products with a scientific and technical rigor appropriately matched to customer needs.
Demonstrate and adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct, service, and accountability.
Create technologies, circumstances, and opportunities that can enable present and future generations.
Build strong, mutually-beneficial, and enjoyable relationships with scientists, students, and educators everywhere.
As a successful Open-Source software company, DeLano Scientific continues to create useful code that you can access and afford no matter what your budget, but we also provide commercial products and services, added conveniences, and other benefits to paying customers who sponsor our efforts through defined value-for-value exchanges.
Having launched full-time operations in early 2003, we have passed the point of economic sustainability and are continuing to expand our scope of activity. Our flagship product PyMOL™ now enjoys widespread usage throughout most major biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as at leading biomedical research institutions. Building upon PyMOL’s success, we are now developing partnerships with start-up companies as well as market leaders to provide both open-source and proprietary solutions to our expanding user base. Current productivity reflects the full-time efforts of our in-house staff, contributions from multiple independent contractors, synergies with our partners, and collaborative interactions with thousands of committed DeLano Scientific software users (both sponsors and non-sponsors).
Our ongoing success depends largely upon the continued will of our customers to share in our vision that all scientists could eventually have access to great software at a reasonable cost. We seek to enable that vision through direct service relationships with researchers around the globe, who sponsor our work through their subscription purchases and renewals. Lack of access to effective software continues to be a major hindrance to scientific progress and therapeutic discovery. DeLano Scientific knows that by working together, we can change this!
We reject today’s status quo where good scientific software is scarce, expensive, and hard to obtain, and we challenge the inability of existing commercial, academic, or government organizations to facilitate broad dissemination of innovative tools to research scientists. We also question the long tenure of software copyright and patent protections, which fail to keep pace with modern discovery. Ironically, the social and legal institutions created to reward creativity and promote technology now seem to be holding back progress in the data-rich and software-dependent biomedical sciences. For the benefit of all society, we need to pursue new and complementary approaches to the creation and dissemination of scientific software.
Our solution to this problem lies in the formation of a private, independent, mission-driven software company. Because DeLano Scientific has no outside investors, we are not beholden to the constraining profit motives that dominate venture start-ups and ordinary for-profit companies. Because we are not associated with any institute or university, we are free of the intellectual property restraints that have greatly reduced the utility of much academic software. DeLano Scientific is uniquely situated to act for the benefit of science and humanity while harnessing the efficiencies of the free-enterprise system.
Through Linux and numerous other successes, the Free-Software and Open-Source movements have proven the global benefits of open and reusable software. However, neither addresses the critical issue of how individuals might dedicate themselves to creating such software without sacrificing their own financial and career ambitions. We believe that we have found one answer through establishment of a dependable organization which aggregates resources for open-source software development, efficiently channels those resources to create and share innovative tools, and provides subscription services that maximize utility for end users. In this way, DeLano Scientific monetizes the commercial benefits of open-source software and reinvests those resources to fuel further development in a cyclic and ongoing fashion. At the center of this cycle is the creation of rewarding careers for enlightened scientists, software developers, business innovators, engineers, and service professionals who seek impacts and benefits far beyond the “almighty” dollar.
Though we are a private for-profit company, program source code for our flagship product PyMOL is available under a traditional open-source license to everyone at no cost. However, in order to generate a recurring stream of revenue sufficient to compensate staff, meet expenses, fund partnerhips, and sustain growth, the most convenient forms of our product (ready-to-run executables with documentation, add-ons, and services) are incentive in nature and only available to those who provide qualifying financial support for the overall endeavor. In this way, we meet the software needs of our customers and the revenue needs of the company while nurturing trustworthy, non-adversarial relationships with members of the scientific community.
Our continuing philosophy on pricing is to engage in frank and reasonable dialogue with our customers to establish fair prices for our products and services, and to openly advocate for purchase of our subscriptions even when such purchases are not a condition of usage. We trust that scientists, who are committing their lives to Reason and Research, will honor the needs of an organization that shares their devotion. Futhermore, building upon the long-term success of DeLano Scientific, we aim to eventually give birth to an aligned non-profit organization that could tap both government and philanthropic resources to nucleate an endowment and funding stream for the advancement of open-source scientific software.
In being directly accountable to only our customers and our stated vision, and by avoiding the need to compromise our principles to attract investors or deliver financial results, DeLano Scientific is combining the power of open-source software with the efficiency of a healthy and independent mission-focused business.
Feedback is always welcome at DeLano Scientific, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Visit the PyMOL Home Page to read the latest news on the project.
Visit the PyMOL Sponsorship Page to learn about subscribing.