Review of Intellectual Assets Principles of CGIAR

The Intellectual Assests Principles were approved in March 2012. These IA Principles constitute a policy that provides a common position and framework for governing the production, acquisition, management, and dissemination of intellectual assets (IA) and use of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) with an aim of maximizing global accessibility of CGIAR IA for achieving broadest possible impact on target beneficiaries.

The IA Principles (the policy) acknowledge CGIAR’s mandate of generating global public goods for achieving large-scale impact and are intended to further the CGIAR’s Vision: “A world free of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation”.  However, the policy also recognizes that restrictions to global accessibility may be necessary in some cases with more nuanced approaches for managing intellectual assets, including through intellectual property rights and licensing arrangements, for targeting impacts to intended beneficiaries. It sets the conditions for the latter with the aim of serving transparency as well as maximum impact. The policy concerns matters that are critical to the reputation of CGIAR. At the time of the policy’s approval, it was considered to reflect a compromise that “balances trust and Center autonomy with accountability and transparency.”

The Review assessed the IA Principles in a comprehensive manner regarding coverage, adequacy, and appropriateness. It assessed the extent to which IA Principles and its implementation have been effective in enhancing efficiency and transparency.

The Review found that the implementation of the IA Principles has proceeded systematically with a number of improvements, including a notable increase in legal staffing at each Center, development of a review and oversight process, a robust reporting process and launching of the CGIAR Legal/IP Network (CLIPnet) community of practice. The Review also found some inadequacy of resources and capacity. The review team concluded that the IA Principles were not being used to their full capacity,  partly due to inadequate understanding of what the Principles prescribe.

The Team

Alan Bennett

Team Leader

Professor Alan Bennett is a member of the Plant Sciences Department at UC Davis and founding Executive Director of the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA), a non‐profit organization that provides strategy advice and intellectual property rights analysis to support the commercialization of public sector innovations and the humanitarian uses of agricultural technologies. His research and publications range from plant cell wall disassembly to public policy issues for agriculture. From 2004-2008, he served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Davis where he founded and managed InnovationAccess, an organization responsible for technology transfer, business development and support for technology-based economic development.Bennett is a Fellow of the California Council for Science and Technology (CCST), a science policy advisory council for the State of California, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He served on the U.S. National Academies’ of Science Committee on University Management of Intellectual Property. Bennett earned his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Biology at UC Davis and Cornell University, respectively and has published over 150 research papers in leading scientific journals and holds several utility patents related to crop quality traits

Carlos Correa

Team Member

A lawyer and an economist, Professor Carlos Correa obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Buenos Aires. His areas of expertise are investment, development and technology transfer, intellectual property, and competition policy law. He is Special Advisor on Trade and Intellectual Property of the South Centre and has been a visiting professor in post-graduate courses of several universities. Prof. Correa was a member of the UK Commission on Intellectual Property, of the Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health established by the World Health Assembly and of the FAO Panel of Eminent Experts on Ethics in Food and Agriculture.He has advised several governments on intellectual property, innovation policy and public health, and served as a consultant to UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDP, WHO, FAO, IDB, INTAL, World Bank, SELA, ECLA, UNDP, and other regional and international organizations. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. Dr. Carlos Correa has also served as Chair of the Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC) of CGIAR from 2004-2010. For the purposes of this review, the IEA considers that while Correa dealt with issues of intellectual assets and policy when serving the GRPC, this experience is beneficial for the review, and particularly given that the GRPC was closed in 2010, does not pose a conflict of interest.