Tag Archives: CGIAR

New CEO of the CGIAR Consortium Announced

Last night we recieved the news via email that the new CEO of the CGIAR Consortium had been decided.  The CGIAR Change Management blog posted an interview.

The Consortium Board of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has appointed Pioneer senior manager for sustainable agriculture and development as chief executive officer of the new Consortium.

Lloyd Le Page currently leads the Sustainable Agriculture and Development division of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. Lloyd is a British citizen whose parents were missionaries in Africa. After obtaining a bachelor of science degree, he then spent several years running farms in Southern Africa. During that period, he was deeply involved in many parts of the value chain ensuring that farmers’ produce reached consumers, a new facet of the CGIAR reform. He then joined Pioneer and ran a number of successful supply operations in Africa, eventually running the supply management operations in Africa for Pioneer and gaining experience in linking the private sector with farmers in the developing world. In 2004 Lloyd moved  to the Pioneer head office in Des Moines, Iowa to establish Pioneer sustainable development activities.

Lloyd has had a successful career and brings with him a great deal of partnership and practical experience at the local, regional and global levels. He has gained the trust and confidence of many of the stakeholders that make up the CGIAR community and has been consulted by some of the CGIAR centers in the development of consortium research programs. Above all, he brings a fresh vision to the CGIAR and a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm for contributing to fulfill the objectives and vision of the reform process. Le Page is married with 2 children and currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa”

We at CAS-IP would like to extend our congratulations.  Of course we are also waiting with bated breath to see what direction IP management strategy in the new CGIAR is going to take.  I asked the CAS team (some of whom have worked with Lloyd in the past) what they thought about the appointment:

“CAS-IP would like to congratulate Mr. Lloyd Le Page on his new appointment. We look forward to working with him and to providing input with regard to intellectual property management issues, particularly in the context of the strategic partnerships (CRPs) currently being set up, in order to ensure that the public goods produced have maximum impact.” Elise Perset, Manager of CAS-IP

“I have worked with Lloyd.  He understands intellectual property and the role that it plays in agricultural development.”Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP

“Congratulations to Lloyd and welcome to the CG! It`s great to have someone with so much experience in transactions and partnerships heading up the Consortium office.” Sebastian Poehlmann, consultant to CAS-IP

New CGIAR; new commitment to Open Access?

Now is the time to act!  Now is the time to get serious about Open Access!

That was the message from the 7th July 2010 Bioversity & CAS-IP organised workshop on Open Access.  A workspace was set up by ICT-KM as a store for all the presentations and documentation of the meeting.  Access is, of course, open. https://sites.google.com/a/cgxchange.org/bioversity-open-access-workshop/agenda

The timing is perfect.  If the new CGIAR can embrace Open Access as a policy we can start to get somewhere.  From discussions during the workshop I see OA in the CGIAR as essentially a two-pronged attack; from the top and from the bottom.  If the Consortium can set the stage to commit to OA from the top then we can rely on having:

1)     A mandate
2)     A reward structure in place (performance indicators)
3)     Resources for the infrastructure and maintenance

These are all required to go forward.  There are examples our there in the life sciences to draw lessons from.  Maria Garruccio at Bioversity talked about some of these examples during the meeting.

It is also our turn to get serious too; from the bottom up!  We need to keep addressing, and responding to the more nitty-gritty reasons why people are reluctant to share (see the Nature item referenced below), community by community if necessary.  A consistent effort is going to be required to steward the process and to continually build trust and value along the way.  It is not I believe, enough to just require OA if we are going to do open access well.  We will also need to keep addressing some of the specifics that hinder effective OA even if they are not immediately thought of in this context.  By this I am referring to issues such as:

–         privacy issues
–         handling of traditional knowledge (see TK guidelines)
–         PIC (prior informed consent)
–         attribution

And I am sure other units have their own lists of issues.  It might start slowly, but there is a real opportunity to create a new commons out there in the Ag field.  Let’s start moving!  Plans are already underway for a CG wide workshop on Open Access in November, to be hosted by ICRISAT. More info TBA.


More info:

–         Interesting article in Nature “When blogs make sense” about differing approaches to data sharing by two scientific communities. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7302/full/466008a.html

–         ICT-KM blog post about the meeting http://ictkm.cgiar.org/2010/07/13/open-access-workshop-in-bioversity-a-summary/

(Thanks to Victoria Henson-Apollonio for sending the Nature link)

Agriculture expert picked to lead USAID

Keith Jones sent me this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111017483.html  (you have to sign up to access the archives, but it is free and quick). Rajiv Shah, who worked for the Gates Foundation and then served as under-secretary for agriculture, has been nominated to head USAID. This article observes that: 

“Shah’s nomination, which must be approved by the Senate, comes as the White House and the State Department are studying how to redesign a U.S. aid system widely viewed as uncoordinated and wasteful. In addition, Congress is considering overhauling the 1960s-era legislation governing assistance.”

…and provides a link to a speech that Secretary of State Clinton delivered at the Clinton Global Initiative. 

Shah helped to write this speech and you can read it by visiting this link:

Here is an excerpt from Clinton’s speech that may provide some insight into the future evolution of USAID: 

“After years of effort and billions of dollars, we have not achieved the lasting results we desire.  But we have learned some very valuable lessons.  We know that the most effective strategies emanate from those closest to the problems, not governments or institutions hundreds or thousands of miles away….And we know that development works best when it is based not in aid, but in investment.”

The White House press release announcing the nomination is at:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-usaid-administrator And politico covered the story.  In this excerpt from the politico blog story, reference is made to greater collaboration:

 “Shah seemed to anticipate working closely with Clinton and USAID when he gave an interview to his hometown Seattle paper in May upon taking the USDA job. “There are times in history when presidents have succeeded in bringing together very powerful people,” Shah told the Seattle Post Intelligencer, noting that he was reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals.  “He anticipates the Ag Department, the State Department, and Agency for International Development ‘will work together as a team’ on food issues inside and outside America’s borders,” the paper added.”
 Aid as investment is a pathway that USAID has in fact been pursuing through its Global Development Alliance (GDA) initiative.  GDAs take a market-based approach to partnerships between the public and private sectors to address jointly defined objectives. The ICRISAT led West Africa Seed Alliance is receiving funding from USAID through a GDA.  In 2001-2009 USAID launched 900 alliances with 1,700+ partners, and reports that they have leveraged their overall investments by 2.7:1 as a result of Alliance member contributions. 

The nomination of a scientist who is also an agriculture expert and an innovator is good news for the CGIAR.  And the Change Management process has underscored the need for the “new” CG to leverage Center resources by forming partnerships to pursue shared goals. 

A new focus by USAID on investment and by the CG on partnerships suggests that if CG centers can be creative, there will be plentiful opportunities to build PPPs with USAID support and funding as Global  Development Alliances. 

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP                


CAS-IP legal interns are now starting their projects


Photo credit: Shawn Landersz, CAS-IP.  Left to right. John Zerilli, Catherine Dobson, Leah Boyer, Sachi Claringbould, Irina Curca (CAS-IP), Ola Karpik, Victoria Henson-Apollonio (CAS-IP), Sean Butler (St. Edmunds), Sahar Bandial, Asif Khan, Mehreen Shafiq, Nadia Gracias

Left to right. John Zerilli, Catherine Dobson, Leah Boyer, Sachi Claringbould, Irina Curca (CAS-IP), Ola Karpik, Victoria Henson-Apollonio (CAS-IP), Sean Butler (St. Edmunds), Sahar Bandial, Asif Khan, Mehreen Shafiq, Nadia Gracias. Photo credit: Shawn Landersz, CAS-IP.

Last week CAS-IP hosted an induction week for the 8 interns who make up this year’s summer interns programme.  The induction week was aimed to provide a background to the CGIAR and to the particular challenges of managing intellectual property in a public goods environment.

 Interns will be working on a variety of projects such as:

– contract inventory and the analysis and monitoring of IP restrictions

– researching the types of IP-related transactions ongoing within a centre

– inventory of centre inputs and outputs with a view to IP implications

– drafting informal report on how to collaborate with the private sector

– analysing confidentiality/data sharing agreements and  drafting clauses to be used in standard agreements for the CAS-IP Licence Central project

Some interns have already started their projects, others are now preparing to travel to their designated CG centre to complete their work.   Good luck to all the 2009 interns! 

Intellectual Property, Open Access, and the Developing World


I recently had some contact with the “open & shut” blogger Richard Ponyder who asked if we could write a summary piece about some of the IP challenges in the developing world.

It was a useful exercise to put into writing some of the thoughts about where we see IP interacting with the work of the CGIAR centres.

Read the article on the Open & Shut blog

CAS-IP article

CAS-IP article

UPDATE from Paris. 7th meeting of the ad hoc open-ended working group on access and benefit-sharing


We blogged some pre-meeting observations earlier this week (see lead link). Today Peter Munyi, Chief Legal Officer at ICIPE and consultant to CAS-IP sent the following update, and his observations:

“The negotiations towards an international regime on access and benefit sharing resumed officially on 2nd April at UNESCO, Paris.  The roadmap towards the regime is clear as outlined in CBD COP 9 in 2008.  The subject matter for negotiations during the next 7 days is the objective and scope of the international regime, as well as the main elements (benefit sharing, access and compliance). 

With regard to objective and scope of the international regime it is clear that pursuant to the programme of work laid out by CBD COP Decision IX/12, at the end of the next 7 days, the negotiators must come up with at least a finalized draft operative text.  If this does not happen, the earliest that negotiations on these two issues will be revisited will be in March 2010 during Working Group 9 or October 2010 in COP 10.  For compliance, the expectation is that parties will at least develop an advanced draft operative text that can be subjected to further negotiations in Working Group 8 in November 2009. 

There are a number of sticking issues in these negotiations.  The status of pre-CBD collections is one and whether they should be included in the scope of the regime.  Intellectual properties particularly in the context of benefit sharing, and also as an important check point in tracking material as well as disclosure of origin is another.  The intellectual property issue has trade implications, and how an understanding is reached towards the different viewpoints held by regions should be something to pay attention to as it may have implications on the dynamics of managing intellectual property in the future.  There are other sticking issues relating to the definition and understanding of derivatives; whether to include human genetic resources; whether to include pathogens, for example those subject to discussions at the World Health Organization relating to influenza flu viruses and, the relationship an international regime will have with other treaties of relevance.

For the CG centres, the debate and negotiations are important.  Genetic resources are the subject matter of their work.  How they will be accessed and shared in future is in the hands of the negotiators who obviously, do not include the CG Centres.  Since the negotiations must come to an end in COP 10 in October 2010, in less than 18 months therefore, there will be multilateral instrument that will regulate and facilitate access to genetic resources and benefit sharing.”

The CGIAR change management process; an opportunity for greater cohesion on IP issues

Last week at the CGIAR AGM, the CAS-IP Manager Victoria Henson-Apollonio, was approached for her point of view about the Change Management process.  Her thoughts have been posted on the Change Management blog.  Visit the lead link for her thoughts on the opportunities for the system.