The CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets (CGIAR IA Principles) require that research innovations acquired or produced by CGIAR Centers — their Intellectual Assets — be managed in ways that maximize their global accessibility and/or ensure that they lead to the broadest possible impact on target beneficiaries in furtherance of CGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.
Restrictions to global access through Limited Exclusivity Agreements and Restricted Use Agreements (as defined in the CGIAR IA Principles), as well as through applications for intellectual property protection such as patents and plant variety protection, are permitted in limited circumstances. In such cases, CGIAR Centers must provide justifications for these restricted arrangements on an annual basis.
Restricted arrangements in 2020
CGIAR Centers reported entering into a total of 35 Limited Exclusivity Agreements in 2020. Out of these 35 agreements, 32 were reported by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), two were reported by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and one was reported by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
A total of four patent applications and one plant variety protection (PVP) application were reported for 2020. Out of these four patent applications, three were reported by IRRI and concern inventions that had been reported in previous years, and one reported by CIAT that concerns an invention reported for the first time. All four patent applications were made on a provisional basis and, as such, require further filings to secure patent protection. CIAT was responsible for the PVP application reported in 2020.
No Restricted Use Agreements or plant variety protection applications were reported in 2020.
The CGIAR IA PRINCIPLES require intellectual assets of CGIAR to be managed in ways that maximize their global accessibility or ensure that they lead to the broadest possible impact on target beneficiaries.
Review process for restricted arrangements
The justifications provided by CGIAR Centers for their restricted arrangements in 2020 were generally deemed acceptable by the System Organization and the System Council Intellectual Property Group, which assess these arrangements against criteria outlined in the CGIAR IA Principles.
Information on the assessment of these justifications as well as highlights from Centers’ implementation of the CGIAR IA Principles in 2020 will be available in the CGIAR System Intellectual Assets Management Report for 2020, which includes independent observations from the System Council Intellectual Property Group. The 2020 Report is anticipated to be published in August 2021 and will be available on the CGIAR website.