Micro B3 Stakeholder Workshop, Brussels

A successfull Micro B3 stakeholders workshop, titled “Towards a Model Agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing for Marine Genetic Resources (with a focus on marine micro-organisms)”, was organized in Bruxelles on the 27 and 28 of February 2013, by the Université catholique de Louvain. Ten Micro B3 partners met with different stakeholders: legal experts; scientists; economists; industry, government and culture collections representatives to discuss the legal work undertaken so far by WP8, and especially the model Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement for marine genetic resources, being drafted as a deliverable of the WP. Five providing countries participated to the meeting with representatives from the scientific, legal and ministerial sectors. Four other EU consortia were also attending: BlueGenics, MIRRI, PharmaSea, SeaBioTech. The workshop was organized with a  seminar first day where legal and scientific experts introduced the framework of the ABS agreement and its synergies with research and development, and a more interactive second day where stakeholders analised the core clauses of the Agreement in two parallel sessions: one dealing with access to genetic material and the other with data management. An industry and EU consortia panel highlighted their positions in relation to applied research and intellectual property rights related issues. The Ocean Sampling Day initiative was also discussed and the involvement of four possible new sites for sampling was considered.