Selection of Technology Transfer Recipients May Begin in March
On 26 February 2019, a meeting of the Supervisory Board for monitoring the activities of the Centre for Technological Transfer of the Higher School of Economics was held at Russia's Federal Monopoly Service (FAS).
The Centre for Technology Transfer (CTT) was established at the National Research University Higher School of Economics to monitor fulfilment of the FAS Directive issued after reviewing a petition from Bayer AG (Germany) to give consent for a transaction to acquire more than 50% of voting shares of Monsanto Company (USA).
The CTT, has the following objectives, among others:
- to select Russian companies that may become potential recipients of molecular breeding tools and germplasm to be transferred by Bayer AG as part of execution of the FAS Directive;
- to ensure the implementation of projects aimed at developing competition in the Russian agrotechnology sector.
Pursuant to the FAS Directive, monitoring of the activities of the CTT is to be performed by a Supervisory Board composed of representatives of the FAS, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia.
HSE vice rector Andrei Zhulin informed the Supervisory Board about the readiness of the CTT to start the selection of recipients and a review of applications, about the composition of working groups and about special projects in the field of competition development in the agro-industrial complex. He pointed out that, in a rather short period of time, the CTT has managed to form highly professional teams in all areas of the centre’s activities and to prepare “from scratch” the procedures to select transfer recipients that will be available on the CTT official website (https://ctt.hse.ru) after having been approved by the Supervisory Board.
In accordance with the schedule presented at the meeting of the Supervisory Board by the CTT management, the procedure to select companies that will receive the molecular breeding tools and germplasm required to develop new varieties and hybrids of agricultural crops is to begin in March 2019 and complete in August 2019.
Vladimir Avdeenko, director of the Department for Science and Technology Policy and Education of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, noted at the meeting of the Supervisory Board: "It is advisable to synchronize the breeding programmes, in which the materials and data transferred by Bayer AG are to be used, with the subprograms implemented as part of the Federal Scientific and Technology Programme for the Development of Agriculture for 2017-2025. To this end, we are ready to hold a meeting on our premises with representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia."
The meeting of the Supervisory Board also approved a procedure to select an organization that will host a plant biotechnology research and training centre, whose creation is part of Bayer AG’s obligations under the FAS Directive.
The members of the Supervisory Board approved a CTT proposal to create a pool of research and training organizations which are willing to host such a centre.
“We have conducted a series of negotiations with the management of Russia’s leading academic and research organizations that provide training in breeding. To achieve synergies, it would make sense to join their resources. If the Supervisory Board approves this approach, we are ready to move in this direction and complete the negotiations by the end of March,” said Alexei Ivanov, director of the HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development.
“We are pleased with how fruitful and constructive our cooperation with the HSE and FAS on seed breeding technology transfer is. One of the first outcomes of the CTT activities will be the selection of the institution that will host the plant biotechnology research and training centre. The selection of recipients is a crucial transfer stage that will determine the future success of the application of the technologies obtained by the Russian side. We trust that the expertise that Bayer passes on as part of this project will contribute to the development of Russia’s own breeding programmes and to high performance of the plant industry. After all, breeding is key to high yields and one of the points of growth of the Russian agricultural sector's export potential,” said Yves Picquet, head of Bayer’s Crop Science division for Eastern Europe.
The members of the Supervisory Board also approved plans for the implementation by the CTT of special projects for the development of competition in agriculture.
“The foundations for the implementation of technology transfer have been laid,” said Andrei Tsyganov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deputy Chairman of the FAS. “The CTT team has been composed, the Supervisory Board has approved the regulatory documents, extensive outreach activities have been carried out among market players. We are ready to begin the implementation of the agreements that were reached with Bayer as part of negotiating the deal,” he added.