News

OECD Working Paper Reports on Adaptation-related Biotechnology

OECD26 March 2012: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a working paper that shows an increase in innovations in adaptation-related agricultural biotechnology, with the development of crops that are resilient to drought, saline soils and extreme temperatures.

The paper, titled "Adaptation and Innovation - An Analysis of Crop Biotechnology Patent Data," indicates that annual patent applications related to these traits have increased from fewer than 10 in 1995 to more than 200 in 2007. In relative terms, adaptation-related patent applications have increased from 0.5% in 1999 to almost 5% in 2006.

The paper also provides a breakdown of innovations by country, showing that most patent applications were filed in the US, followed by other OECD member countries and emerging economies, while an increasing number are cross-border applications originating from other countries. Furthermore, the paper provides information on the most active companies in adaptation-related innovation.

The paper concludes that the private sector plays an important role in adaptation-related innovation, but suggests that further research is necessary to identify: the degree of commercialization of climate-resilient crop varieties; the factors driving adaptation-related innovation; and the needs of developing countries for adaptation-related biotechnology and how these needs could be met. [Publication: Adaptation and Innovation - An Analysis of Crop Biotechnology Patent Data]