Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crop advances grow with protection

28.04.2016

Study finds intellectual property protection encourages innovation

Most people are aware of open-source computer programs. These free programs, accessible by anyone, spread technology to distant corners of the world. Cutting-edge innovations, however, come at a price. As a result, many software companies license their work.


Crop scientists breed different varieties to enhance crop diversity and qualities.

Photo credit 2015 CSSA photo contest submission

These same concerns exist within the seed-development arena. Some plant researchers support the free exchange of new varieties of seeds and plants. Doing so, they argue, benefits both plant breeders and farmers. Considering seeds "intellectual property" may seem harmful to this free exchange of information.

But all coins have two sides. Stephen Smith and a team at Iowa State University examined the impact of intellectual property protection in a new study. Smith is a professor of agronomy and visiting scientist in seed science. The researchers found intellectual property protection benefits both plant breeders and society.

Smith's study linked crop improvements to the improved economic welfare, health, and nutrition of consumers. The study showed that, in general, intellectual property protection benefits both plant breeders and society. "The metric used for measuring success as a result of plant breeding was optimal genetic innovation," Smith says, "which we equated with optimal social welfare."

"Future generations will rely upon an adaptive, productive, and sustainable agriculture," he says, "conducted in a healthy and diverse biological environment." That diversity demands the development of more crops with improved qualities.

According to Smith, intellectual property protection is necessary for several reasons. First, it helps researchers attract funding. This funding supports risky research that would not be possible otherwise. This research can lead to better products for farmers.

Second, intellectual property protection pushes crop research and development. This innovation is vital to meet increasing global challenges. Increased demand for crops, climate change, and attacks from diseases and pests are stark realities.

Finally, Smith says, "Protection is essential to help prevent misappropriation of varieties and counterfeiting of products." Such practices hurt the abilities of farmers to run their business. They can also lead to crop failure if seeds or crop varieties are mislabeled.

The study considered several factors. It found the "strength and length" of protection is key for agricultural companies when fine-tuning their research program. The costs of purchasing or developing genetic stocks and new technologies were also considered.

Without protection, Smith says, companies would have no incentive to produce new and innovative plant varieties. "Private sector funding would not occur sustainably without the opportunity to obtain some degree of exclusivity on sale and commercial returns," Smith explains.

Read more about Smith's work in Crop Science.

Susan Fisk | EurekAlert!

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>