Successful Workshop on IP Protection and Regulatory Aspects for Crops

On the 15th of March 2023, more than 100 researchers and breeders from across Europe and beyond, gathered online and in presence at the University of Applied Sciences, HTW Dresden Campus Pillnitz in Dresden, Germany for a workshop on genetic resources.

The workshop ran under the title “Pre-breeding materials: a grey zone between Genetic Resources and Cultivars, Introduction on regulatory aspects and protection of Intellectual Property.”

The workshop was organised by the BreedingValue partners Marche Polytechnic University, the Julius Kühn-Institute and EURICE, within the framework of the EU-funded project BreedingValue.

Gisela Quaglia from the EC Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development gave a clear overview of the funding strategy on genetic resources and breeding. Under Horizon 2020, the EC invested a total of 189M€ in 33 R&I projects. One of the main objectives is to improve conservation, management and use of genetic resources, in order to broaden the genetic base of cultivated crops and halt the loss of genetic diversity. Pre-breeding material is of utmost importance, thereby building a bridge between available genetic resources and crop improvement.

Major European and international organisations in the field of Genetic Resources introduced the legal regulatory framework given by the Convention on Biological Diversity and its implementing instrument, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, as well as the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Sandra Goritschnig presented the main activities of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR), such as the online catalogue eurisco and the European Evaluation Network EVA, that play a major role in conservation of germplasm in European genebanks and promotion of its use in breeding and cultivation.

Marco Marsella from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations guided the workshop participants through the online platform Easy-SMTA, and showed how it allows users to easily generate online the Standard Material Transfer Agreements for the transfer of seeds and plant material. Furthermore, the workshop put a spotlight on protection of Intellectual Property, in particular Plant Variety Rights. Urszula Braun-Mlodecka presented the regulation and evaluation system coordinated by the EU Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) with a focus on berries. The two sister projects funded under the same topic as BreedingValue, HARNESSTOM and GEN4OLIVE, gave insights into their research work and approach to Intellectual Property Management. Last but not least, BreedingValue presented a detailed analysis of the berry varieties and active applications currently available in the CPVO database.

The BreedingValue consortium thanks everyone who participated in the workshop!

You can find the agenda and the presentations of the workshop here: Workshop on Genetic Resources

Workshop participants 15th of March, 2023