Strengthening CGIAR-Private Sector Partnerships in Biotechnology: A Private Sector Committee Perspective on Compelling Issues
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A paper prepared for the CGIAR Private Sector Committee by a member of the CGIAR Secretariat, on the role of biotechnology in the CGIAR, and the need for partnerships with private sector firms engaged in research in agricultural biotechnology.Three issues are identified as compelling: intellectual property rights, biosafety, and the shifting boundaries between the public and private sectors. The Committee said that the CGIAR could do much to fill the vacuum in the application of biotechnology to the needs of developing countries. It should not do so at the expense of its existing comparative advantages in applied science, germplasm collections, tropical agriculture, and networks of partners in the developing world These would be of value to the private sector, and make the centers desirable partners. The CGIAR should proceed by informing the private sector about its capabilities, and at the same time building up its capacity in biotechnology. Increased work on biotechnology might compel the CGIAR to adopt some private sector practices in relation to intellectual property.Agenda document, CGIAR Mid Term Meeting, May 1997.