b'Agricultural Crops Licensing Platform (ACLP) now launched!A COLLABORATIVE SOURCE FOR PLANT BREEDING INNOVATIONSBY: MARCEL BRUINSE uropean Seed magazine meets up with Andreas Popp, Head of Global Intellectual PropertyBiotechnology, from BASF, one of the nine founding members of this new platform and finds out why European farming needs this initiative.EUROPEAN SEED MAGAZINE (ES): ANDREAS, YOU WERE PERSONALLY AT THE START OF SETTING UP THIS INITIATIVE. COULD YOU TELL US WHY IT WAS NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH SUCH A PLATFORM AND GIVE SOME INSIGHTS INTO THE JOURNEY SO FAR?Andreas Popp (AP): The European Green Deal initiative has put more pressure on agriculture to provide better seeds at a faster pace. I, together with the other founding companies of the ACLP, believe that more innovation in this area is the best way forward and that the availability of IP protection, by both plant variety protection and patent rights, is an important driver to innovate. This also includes enabling breeders, from small or large organisations, to innovate by producing new and better plant varieties. When I heard about the first ideas of the ACLP, I received immediate support in BASF to bring the initiative to life. What is key for me is supporting technology transfer in a transparent, open, and fair innovation ecosystem. This will enable growers to face the challenges ahead for European agriculture.ES: AND I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS VISION IS WIDELY SHARED AMONG SEED BREEDERS IN EUROPE AND HELPS CREATE COMMON GROUND. WHO ARE THE OTHER FOUNDING MEMBERS BRINGING THE ACLP TO LIFE? AP: It is our aim to consolidate the common ground for all plantAndreas Poppbreeders, regardless of the size of their organisation. For your info, the other eight founding members (all from different sized compa-nies), are: BNA, HZPC, Elsoms, Corteva, Bayer, Limagrain, KWS and Syngenta as well as BASF which makes nine members. For more information, visit the Members Archive of the AgriculturalACLP, namely all the countries that are members of the European Crop Licensing Platform (aclp.eu) Patent Organization, as well as Russia and Ukraine.There are three aims of the ACLP that will benefit the objec-ES: SO, IN A NUTSHELL, THE ACLP IS PROVIDING A SIMPLEtives of the EU Green Deal and the Farm2Fork strategy:LEGAL FRAMEWORK ENABLING ACCESSEVEN FOR SMALLa)Improve agricultural crop productivity and sustainability SEED COMPANIESTO MARKETED PATENTED TRAITS INthrough plant breeding, made available to European breed-AGRICULTURAL CROPS WITH COMPLETE TRANSPARENCYers, long before the expiration of the patent rights that cover FOR MEMBERS? CORRECT? them.AP: Yes, the ACLP is a collaborative source for plant breeding inno- b) Provide breeding rights for patented traits contained in com-vations. The ACLP will welcome anyone who develops improvedmercial varieties available on the open market, providing a agricultural crop plant varieties and/or traits in Europe, includingcontractual and uniform limited breeders exemption across universities and research institutes, public or private. Small breed- Europethis did not exist before the ACLP platform.ers as members will benefit from easy access and free membershipc)And the third more visionary objective would be to speed during the first five years of existence of the ACLP and will receiveup the technology transfer of Novel Genomic Techniques special legal assistance service. By the way, when I am referring to(NGTs) by making it easier for members to adopt these Europe, I am inferring to all the countries that are covered by theinnovative traits to create seed varieties.1https://www.agrar.hu-berlin.de/de/institut/departments/daoe/ihe/Veroeff/opera-final_report_100505.pdf 34IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'