Degim variety potato flower at Holetta Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia. Photo by Frezer Asfaw/CIP.

Intellectual assets

Intellectual assets

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 2021

CGIAR Centers reported entering into a total of 55 Limited Exclusivity Agreements in 2021. Of these 55 agreements, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) reported 52, and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the International Potato Center (CIP) each reported one.

A total of five patent applications and one plant variety protection (PVP) application were reported in 2021. Of these five patent applications, three concern inventions that had been reported in previous years (two by IRRI and one by the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) reported applications that concern inventions reported for the first time. Two of these five patent applications were made on a provisional basis and, as such, require further filings to secure patent protection. CIP was responsible for the PVP application reported in 2021.

No Restricted Use Agreements were reported in 2021.

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 System Council Intellectual Property Group (SC IP Group) and the System Organization reviewed the adequacy of the justifications provided by Centers in support of the restricted arrangements reported in 2021 to ensure they are consistent with the CGIAR IA Principles.

Information on the assessment of these justifications, as well as highlights from Centers’ implementation of the CGIAR IA Principles in 2021, is available in the CGIAR System Intellectual Assets Management Report for 2021, which includes independent observations from the System Council Intellectual Property Group.

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