Crossing over - Genomics in the public area by Edna Einsiedel, Frank Timmermans

By Edna Einsiedel, Frank Timmermans

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Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Van Brunt, J. 2000. Borderless Biotech. Signals Magazine, 3 December. OpenDocument 46 Crossing Over 2 t raP Part 2 scilbu P & seiciloP Policies & Publics 3 Agricultural Biotechnology in Europe at the Crossroads Helge Torgersen 1 introduction currently, europe is at a crossroads in the debate about agricultural biotechnology. ) member countries are implementing the new Directive 200/8/EC on releases and marketing (European Union 200), and the European Commission has ended its de facto moratorium that had been in place for half a decade.

This picture of the business of biotechnology is commonly understood, and it reflects the tensions that surround interactions between scientists and business managers. Biotechnology is more about selling ideas and dreams than it is about shipping goods: “There is nothing to warehouse and nothing to ship,” according to an exasperated materials handling consultant at a trade show. However, the dreams and ideas biotechnology offers are about health and illness, and this brings passion to the industry.

Joint ventures involving a sharing of a portfolio of IP often achieve this end. One-off licensing, in contrast, poses almost insurmountable problems of enforcement, which can be overcome by engaging in licensing within communities or joint ventures. Hence, slightly better contract terms with unknown buyers or licensees may not compensate for the risk of them acting opportunistically. If, on the other hand, the inventor decides to commercialize the product or technology directly, then there is nothing definitive that can be said about the optimal institutions, except that the inventors and their partners need to keep aware of the multitude of organizational options that could be relevant to the production and marketing of their inventions.

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