Biological materials are key components in especially health and agricultural research, and they were previously freely exchanged. However, more recently, such materials have gained commercial value, and they also increase their role in innovation processes in the related economic sectors. Therefore, proprietary protection is also becoming more important. Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) have thus been developed as a response to this challenge, and represent legal instruments that define terms of transfer of biological materials. Typically, MTAs include provisions for intellectual property (IP) regulating terms for ownership and licensing. MTAs are therefore increasingly seen as important framework conditions for research and innovation in health and agricultural sciences, and innovators will need updated knowledge on the state of affairs in the regions where they intend to innovate or enter into partnerships.
The objectives of the workshop were to present and discuss current situation concerning MTAs in the health and agricultural sciences, with a view to highlight overarching issues as well as specific challenges concerning transfer of biological materials. Lessons from good practice were highlighted, in addition to the role of MTAs in the research and innovation processes, and different experiences in public and private sectors as well as in both the South-East Asian and European regions. A summary report was produced with the aim to make the results of the workshop available to interested parties in both regions.
Presentations in basic research: Key issues for international research cooperation”
Presentation by Prof Harry Herkutanto, Ministry of Health, National Institute of Health Research and Development, Chairman of the MTA review team, Republic of Indonesia, on “Biological materials and biotech research: Challenges, opportunities and the role of Material Transfer Agreements”
Presentation by Dr Ruaraidh S. Hamilton, International Rice Research Institute, The Philippines, on “Material Transfer Agreements: Balancing IP rights and sovereign rights”
Presentation by Dr Dominique Dessauw, Special Advisor for Seeds and Plant Genetic Resources; Coordinator of the Biological Resources Committee, CIRAD, France, on “International and National Regulatory Issues on Access and Benefit Sharing and implications for Material Transfer Agreements”
Contact: Svend Otto Remøe