Our Intellectual Assets

We want the benefits of our research to reach as many people as possible and have the greatest possible impact towards our vision – a world with sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems that deliver diverse, healthy, safe, sufficient, and affordable diets, and ensure improved livelihoods and greater social equality, within planetary and regional environmental boundaries.

The CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets (CGIAR IA Principles) require that CGIAR Centers manage acquired and generated Research for Development (R4D) innovations – or Intellectual Assets – in ways that maximize their global accessibility and/or ensure that they have the broadest possible impact on target beneficiaries in furtherance of CGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.

The CGIAR IA Principles consider that CGIAR Centers may apply terms and conditions limiting global access to ensure targeted positive impact, as long as justifications for such restricted arrangements are met and reported on, on an annual basis.

In 2022, with respect to restricted arrangements, CGIAR Centers reported entering into a total of 33 agreements which granted limited exclusivity to third parties for the commercialization of Center-derived crop varieties, with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) reporting 31 out of the 33 such Limited Exclusivity Agreements, and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT reporting the remaining two. Two agreements on the access and use of restrictive third-party technologies (i.e., genomic and digital information tools) for the development of specific R4D innovations, known as Restrictive Use Agreements, were reported respectively by CIMMYT and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

In addition, CGIAR Centers reported three types of applications for the protection of intellectual property rights, termed IP Applications. The International Potato Center (CIP), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reported a total of three patent applications, all concerning innovations reported in previous years, either changing status or advancing to a national phase.

CIP also reported obtaining a plant variety protection certificate for a potato variety, and one trademark associated with a digital tool for predicting pest distribution and risk. Lastly, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT reported applying for one trademark associated with irrigated rice in several Latin American countries.

The justifications provided by CGIAR Centers for entering into restricted arrangements, or for IP Applications, as well as their achievements in the context of their management of Intellectual Assets, are being reviewed by the System Council Intellectual Property Group, and the CGIAR System Organization, with the support of the genetic resources policy group of the CGIAR Initiative on Genebanks, to ensure that they are consistent with the CGIAR IA Principles.

A report on the outcome of this review will be available on the CGIAR website in the last quarter of 2023.