b'to constructive exchange with those who are sharing the values the platform pursues and who recognize and respect IP rights. The ACLP is a form of open-source system based on the free access but not access for free principle. This is something that I believe as an expert is essential for sustainable open innovation, protecting the intellectual property of innovative agricultural com-panies, providing transparency, fostering innovation and giving access and fair conditions to keep and even speed up the innovation pace. For example, in the European Union (EU), a limited breeders exemption exists in a few Member States patent laws but even where it exists it is not uniform, so one of the goals is to grant uniform access to patented traits for breeding for all members, regardless of which country within the ACLP territory they operate in. The ACLP is designed to make things simpler and easier, as well as more secure from the legal standpoint. It will ensure that all ACLP members will be able to breed with patented traits that are commer-cialized on the open market by other members.ES: BUT IN COUNTRIES WHERE THE LIMITED BREEDERS EXEMPTION EXISTS? SURELY THIS PLATFORM IS NOT NEC-ESSARY.AP: I am sure that the ACLP will support breeders across Europe, giving additional tools to breeders to be more effective, for example, patented marker information associated with the ACLP traits. In The ACLP is a form of open-sourceaddition, the transparency concerning commercial variety patents and finally the guarantee for members to get a fair licence for com-system based on the free access butmercialisation are just some of the advantages of the ACLP. In some countries where such a breeders exemption exists, the not access for free principle. two IP rights are complementary as they protect different types of innovations. On one hand, plant variety rights provide protection for a specific combination of genetics, which characterize a specific variety but dont protect individual traits. On the other hand, patents provide protection for individual traits which can be present in many varieties but dont protect the genetics of a plant variety. ES: WHAT IS THE RISK THAT THE ACLP WILL PERPETUATE THE PRACTICE OF PATENTING PLANTS AND SEEDS? ES: DO I UNDERSTAND, THEREFORE, THAT THE THREE AIMS OFAP: The European legislation makes it very clear what is patentable THE ACLP WILL OUTLINE HOW THE ACLP CAN CONTRIBUTEand what is not. The ACLP will not change anything in that sense, TO FOOD SECURITY?but it will make available for breeding and licensing traits that are AP: Did you know that the EU currently relies on about one thirdpatented in Europe. Patenting in combination with the ACLP dif-the size of its domestic arable land outside its own territory to ensurefuses and promotes further innovation, so the ACLP will perpetuate European food? 1We all know that we have to do more with less.and stimulate innovation, which will then be widely available to all More agricultural output using less land outside of Europe to reduceACLP members. As I mentioned earlier, the ACLP is a collaborative imports. We need to grow food in a more sustainable and efficientsource for plant breeding innovation.manner. And ensure that yields per hectare increase. This will onlyWhile plant breeding has been very successful and has delivered be possible with more innovation in agriculture. todays highly productive crop varieties, the rate of genetic gains must Food security can be improved significantly through plantdouble to meet the projected future food and feed worldwide demands breeding innovation, resulting in crop enhancements that can leadand cope with the ongoing climate change. This can only be achieved to higher quantities of food produced with fewer inputs, of a higherby continuous investments by the plant breeding sector.quality and at affordable prices. This is the way forward in my view.What is new, thanks to the establishment of the ACLP, is that today, traits, resulting from breakthrough technologies, will be rap-idly available for all its members who are interested in maintaining this flow of new and improved varieties in the future. An initiative like the ACLP helps provide a level playing field for all its members.ES: IF WE CONSIDER ANOTHER POINT OF VIEWFOR EXAM-PLE THE ADVOCATES OF OPEN-SOURCE SEEDS? DOES THE ACLP CONSIDER A DIALOGUE POSSIBLE?The ACLP will be setting up the legal entity in Brussels. If AP: In general, seed companies have always been open to dialogue.any breeding company or public institution is interested in If the discussion is recognizing the benefits for society stemmingbecoming a member or simply wishes to know more: contactfrom the breeders exemption and all IP laws, the ACLP is openAgricultural Crop Licensing Platform (aclp.eu)36IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'