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Executive Briefings

ABB’s Executive briefings are targeted at senior executives who need a rapid update or snapshot of the issues in a number of areas of biotechnology in Asia-Pacific. People who will benefit from these briefings include:

  • Senior public sector research leaders, R&D managers, senior government decision-makers.
  • Legislators and their aides in countries with expressed interest to develop strong biotech industries.
  • Private sector company personnel who need a comprehensive understanding of new legislation and a perspective on current issues.
  • Private sector company personnel who desire a comprehensive understanding of the entire “R&D to product commercialization” chain.
  • Program/project managers in bilateral and multilateral donor organizations.
  • Portfolio managers and directors of investment and commercial banks.
  • Public sector scientists, R&D managers, government officials responsible for driving commercialization of biotechnology, and regulators, managers of biotechnology projects.
  • Biotechnology managers with bilateral and multilateral donor organizations who want to gain a full understanding of this exciting new industry.
  • Asia-based diplomatic personnel (eg. economics, commercial or agricultural attachés).
  • Civil society groups wanting to gain a balanced perspective of issues in biotechnology.

BRIEFING DETAILS

Briefings can be tailor-made to your needs, and can range in length from a 2–3 hour session to a full day briefing. Subjects include:

Agbiotechnology and Food Production in Asia-Pacific

What is biotechnology and Why is it important for agriculture and food production in Asia?

Background

The Asian region has over 60% of the world’s people, some of the oldest civilizations, and many countries that are technological leaders in the electronic industry and in food production. Experts estimate that the current strong economic growth shown by many in Asia is likely to continue, concomitant with an increased population and increased demand for more food of higher quality. Asia will need to supply its people with 50% more food by 2020. Yet the number of farmers is anticipated to decline relative to non-farm sectors, and so is farm area. The need to increase total food production by increasing the productivity of land and water, using modern, sustainable technology, is well recognized by many Asian leaders. Biotechnology in particular has the potential to significantly increase crop and animal yields while improving the income of small farmers and enhancing the environment. In food production, biotechnology’s most significant impact has been to increase the availability of seeds with improved characteristics such as resistance to pests and diseases, therefore allowing farmers to use less pesticides and saving costs, and also farm in a more healthy way.

Primer Objectives

Provide a comprehensive understanding of modern biotechnology and its role in ensuring an adequate supply of nutritious food.

Scope

  • Discussion of the factors driving society’s need for more and better quality food — population growth, shifts in standard of living, declining natural resources for food production.
  • Knowledge of the biotechnology fundamentals to help understand its role.
  • How can modern biotechnology affect food production and the environment?
  • What is the status of farmer acceptance of biotechnology-crops?
  • What are the key issues in public acceptance of crop biotechnology products?
  • What are the roles of the private and public sectors in agricultural biotechnology?
  • Who are the key players in Asia in agricultural and food biotechnology?
  • How will the future look?

Who can benefit?

  • Public sector scientists, R&D managers, senior government officials desiring an introduction to agricultural biotechnology.
  • Private sector company personnel who desire a comprehensive understanding of the technology.
  • Program/project managers in bilateral and multilateral donor organizations who want to gain a full understanding of this exciting new industry.
  • Portfolio managers and directors of investment and commercial banks.
  • Asia-based diplomatic personnel (eg. economics, commercial or agricultural attachés).

The number of participants will be limited to 30.

Resource persons

  • Professor Paul S. Teng, Head, Natural Science & Science Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (formerly Deputy Director-General for Research, Worldfish Center, and Monsanto Asia-Pacific Vice President for Public Affairs)
  • Dr. Andrew Powell, Asia BioBusiness.

Course logistics

The course venue will be Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Requirements for Commercialization of Agricultural Biotechnology

Knowledge Pl+s Half-day Primer

What is involved in commercializing a biotechnology crop?

Background

High quality seed of crop cultivars with desirable genetic backgrounds still form the foundation for farming today. Biotechnology is the one technology that offers the best opportunity to meet the challenge of improving on the potential in seeds, and also of generating the knowledge to achieve that potential on the farm.

Commercial crop biotechnology products consist of different crop varieties possessing specific desirable traits. In 2011, 160 million hectares of biotech crops were grown in 29 countries around the world (ISAAA, 2012). This new technology is the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture.

This rapid pace of progress has brought with it a number of new challenges in regulation, food safety, biosafety considerations, intellectual property issues and public awareness. This primer will provide an overview of these issues, and their inter-relationships, tailored to the needs of senior level policymakers, executives, the diplomatic and investment communities.

Primer Objectives

Provide a comprehensive understanding of the approach, regulatory requirements, information needs, awareness-building techniques, and stewardship requirements for commercializing a biotechnology seed product.

Scope

  • Steps in the process to commercialize biotech seeds: Product development, regulatory approval for food and feed, public acceptance, and farmer-adoption
  • Regulatory frameworks for biosafety, intellectual property protection, and commercial approvals.
  • Biosafety considerations in early “proof of concept” experiments
  • Intellectual property management and technology transfer/exchange mechanisms
  • Regulatory approval: Assembling a supporting dossier for biosafety approval
  • Approach and information needs
  • Food and feed safety assessment: Principles, regulatory and scientific requirements
  • “Freedom-to-Operate” (FTO): Harmony between technical, governmental and social acceptance
  • Protecting the investment: Product stewardship principles and programs such as resistance management
  • Protecting the investment: Key messages and communication strategies to create receptive environments in specialized and general constituencies. How to design and conduct public awareness, support-building activities
  • Multilateral environment agreements (MEA’s) and their impact on the commercialization of agricultural biotechnology
  • Resource and knowledge networks to support biotechnology

Who can benefit?

  • Public sector senior research leaders, R&D managers, senior government officials desiring an introduction to agricultural biotechnology.
  • Private sector, company personnel who need a comprehensive understanding of the technology and its wider implications.
  • Program/project managers in bilateral and multilateral donor organizations who want to gain a full understanding of this exciting new industry.
  • Portfolio managers and directors of investment and commercial banks.
  • Asia-based diplomatic personnel (e.g. economics, commercial or agricultural attachés).

The number of participants will be limited to 30 per course.

Resource persons

  • Professor Paul S. Teng, Head, Natural Science & Science Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (formerly Deputy Director-General for Research, Worldfish Center, and Monsanto Asia-Pacific Vice President for Public Affairs).
  • Dr Andrew Powell, Asia BioBusiness.

Course logistics

The course can be held at any suitable venue in Singapore and around the region.

Biosafety, including Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

A Knowledge Plus 2-Day Primer

Biosafety management in agricultural biotechnology

Background

The commercialization of any biotechnology product in agriculture produced using genetic engineering (R-DNA technology) requires that there be policies and procedures to ensure that these products are environmentally safe. Such policies and procedures have come to be known collectively as “biosafety”. Biosafety is now the subject of an international protocol, called the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol (CBP) under the Convention for Biological Diversity. The CBP has been ratified by over 100 countries and provides the international legal basis for the movement of biotech products such as genetically modified (GM) seeds used for food, feed or processing. Trade in GM products is worth several US$ billion per year, and worldwide, over 85 million hectares of GM crops are grown in some seventeen countries, including countries from the developing world such as Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, China, India and the Philippines.

The CBP requires that countries have clear and transparent national policies and procedures to deal with research and development involving modern biotechnology. It also requires that risk assessments be conducted before laboratory and field experiments are done using GM seeds. It further requires that frameworks exist to conduct biosafety evaluations prior to the commercial release of any GM product for food or feed. Key issues revolve around biosafety, such as liability and redress, risk assessment/ management technique, economic considerations, public awareness, handling and packaging of GM products, and notification and labeling requirements. A science-based approach is endorsed under the CBP.

The debate is ongoing. A Second Meeting of Parties (MOP-2) in Montreal, May 30-June 3 2005, discussed procedures for implementation of the Protocol. Biosafety issues therefore need to be effectively monitored if they are not to become non-tariff barriers to trade.

Primer Objectives

The primer will provide a comprehensive understanding of the approach, regulatory requirements, information needs, scientific basis, awareness-building techniques, and liability issues underpinning biosafety management at the national and cross- boundary levels for genetically modified products.

Scope

  • Explaining biosafety and its scientific basis
  • Key features of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Biosafety Protocol § Regulatory frameworks and techniques for biosafety management in research
  • Regulatory frameworks and techniques for biosafety management in commercialized GM products
  • Resource and Knowledge Networks to support biotechnology

Who can benefit?

  • Public sector Senior Research Leaders, R&D managers, senior government officials desiring an introduction to biosafety, senior regulatory agency staff
  • Private sector, company personnel who need a comprehensive understanding of the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol
  • Program/project managers in bilateral and multilateral donor organizations who need a full understanding of risk assessment
  • Portfolio managers and directors of investment and commercial banks.
  • Asia-based diplomatic personnel (e.g. economics, commercial or agricultural attachés)
  • The number of participants will be limited to 30.

Resource persons

  • Professor Paul S. Teng, Head, Natural Science & Science Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (formerly Deputy Director-General for Research, Worldfish Center, and Monsanto Asia-Pacific Vice President for Public Affairs)
  • Dr Andrew Powell, Asia BioBusiness.

Course logistics

The course venue will be held at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.