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Clearfield® Rice Development License Agreement signed between IRRI and BASF

Initially released on 26 January 2018. Edited on 14 June 2019.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and BASF have entered into a licensing agreement for the Clearfield® Rice Production System to develop herbicide-tolerant rice varieties.

Weeds are the primary biological constraint in rice production areas. The ProvisiaTM System (see http://agriculture.basf.com/us/en/Crop-Protection/Provisia.html) in combination with the Clearfield® Production System for rice (see http://agriculture.basf.com/us/en/Crop-Protection/Clearfield.html), help in controlling red rice and other tough grasses and provide farmers with effective agronomic tools which have global market acceptance. Effective weed control can further translate into increased yields, cleaner grain at harvest and a strong return on investment.

This licensing agreement will facilitate the development of non-genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant, hybrid rice varieties that will contain the BASF’s traits - Clearfield® and ProvisiaTM.

These traits will be introduced into elite parental lines developed by IRRI’s Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC) - see http://hrdc.irri.org/. Following successful development of new herbicide-tolerant lines, these fixed parental lines will be offered for commercialization in Asia.

The new varieties developed will be available to HRDC members for commercial use in Asia upon obtaining a royalty-bearing license from BASF and IRRI. Commercial terms are to be determined and negotiated with each party. Once the varieties have been introduced into the market, a reputable and independent consultant will assess their impact on farmer profitability, productivity, and ecological sustainability.

The HRDC lines that will be used by IRRI are derived from Multilateral System germplasm (see http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/areas-of-work/the-multilateral-system/ov...). IRRI will ensure that all obligations that arise under The International Plant Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (see http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/overview/en/) will be fulfilled, including the use of the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (see http://www.fao.org/3/a-bc083e.pdf) and the Multilateral System benefit sharing conditions (see http://www.fao.org/plant-treaty/areas-of-work/benefit-sharing-fund/overv...).

IRRI, as a licensee of the Clearfield® Production System for rice, will comply with technical provisions in relation to stewardship of the technology.

Furthermore, IRRI, as a non-profit international organization, promotes responsible technology transfer in accordance with its Intellectual Property and Commercialization Policy (IP&C Policy)1 and with the CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets (“IA Principles”)2. This License Agreement is a Restricted Use Agreement (RUA) which entails acquisition and use of third party intellectual assets that may restrict global accessibility of the products and services resulting from their use. IRRI, as one of the Centers under the CGIAR, is allowed to enter into such agreements under certain provisions detailed in the IA Principles reference document. The Clearfield® and ProvisiaTM traits were not available from other sources under less restrictive conditions. In addition, the agreement with BASF does not limit IRRI’s access on other herbicide tolerant traits from other entities, aiming at developing and testing a pipeline of different herbicide tolerant rice lines. Further, this agreement does not limit third party access to in-trust material, and/or HRDC members’ access to original HRDC material used by IRRI in the context of this agreement.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Remy Bitoun Head, IRRI Tech Transfer
Email: r.bitoun@irri.org
Telephone: +63 2 580 5600

1 Available at http://books.irri.org/Approved-IPC-Policy-291017.pdf
2 Available at https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10947/4486/CGIAR%20IA%20Princ...