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Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

OECD Conference Proceedings

image of Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

This conference proceedings from the OECD Conference on Agricultural Knowledge Systems (AKS), held in Paris, on 15-17 June 2011, discusses a large range of experiences and approaches to AKS  explores how to foster development and adoption of innovation to meet global food security and climate change challenges. The conference considered developments in institutional frameworks, public and private roles and partnerships, regulatory frameworks conducive to innovation, the adoption of innovations and technology transfers, and the responsiveness of AKS to broader policy objectives.

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The United States approach for fostering new biological technologies and ensuring their safety

This section addresses the regulation of genetically engineered (GE) products and biotechnology as exemplary of a system for delivering innovative new products and assuring safety with public involvement. Biotechnology has been integral to the record productivity the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has seen in major crops. In the United States, the regulation of GE and biotechnology products involves three agencies: APHIS, the FDA and the EPA. Each agency has different responsibilities, though their regulatory domains often overlap. As a result, there is a high level of collaboration and cooperation across agencies, with each decision based on scientific fact and experimental data. GE crops, in particular, have had significant impact upon sustainability within the United States. These crops have had measurable beneficial economic and environmental effects on GE and non-GE producers alike. Going forward, we need to facilitate the transfer of scientific knowledge and innovation between the public and private sectors, through Intellectual Property (IP) protection and public-private partnerships.

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