CPVO sees technical challenges to EU PVP system

"In 2017 the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) received 3,422 applications which is the second highest number of applications received in 1 year, an increase of 3.7 % compared to 2016. It can be noted that in absolute figures the number of applications for fruits and ornamentals increased while the number of applications for agricultural and vegetable varieties decreased. Also, the number of grants was the second highest ever (2,865) and the number of titles in force was more than 25,900 by the end of 2017. The number of surrenders was exceptionally high in 2017, which is probably due to the fact that the annual fee was increased on 1 January 2017." That's how Martin Ekvad, President of the CPVO, introduces the organization's annual report.

"The net out-turn in 2017 was positive, and at almost EUR 1.3 million, fully in line with forecasts. This represents a major turnaround as compared to the previous year, which was negative EUR 2 million. The main factor was again the increase in the annual fee to EUR 330. The CPVO has pursued a policy for some years of reducing its free reserve, and this was largely achieved in 2016. The year 2017 saw a return to a stabilisation of the free reserve, which was at a very low level by the end of 2017. We forecast that the free reserve will remain low in 2018."

He continues, "A challenge to the EU PVP system in the coming years will be to ensure that technical examinations can be done in an efficient manner, taking into account the ever-increasing number of reference varieties of common knowledge. Investments need to be made to ensure that new technologies are developed to meet this challenge. IT tools and databases will continue to be key to handle the ever-increasing quantity of relevant data. Developing new technologies and IT tools is expensive. For this reason, in 2017 the CPVO joined a consortium that is making a bid to acquire funds from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme with the aim of improving plant-variety testing in the EU. The decision on whether the bid will be successful is expected in the second half of 2018. To keep up with new techniques in a very specialised business, the CPVO technical unit was also consolidated through the employment of an expert in the field of biochemical and molecular techniques."

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