On April 26, the biotech researcher community, ornamental and fruit breeders, IP lawyers, the green sector associations, as well as the officials from CPVO, USPTO, EPO, UPOV, Naktuinbouw, and Bundessortenamt, will gather for a comprehensive biotechnology update at the Conference on Technical and Legal Aspects of Biotechnology in Ornamental and Fruits. The event is organized by CIOPORA, the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties, and its long-standing member the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, ILVO Plant, will take place at ILVO’s Headquarters in Melle, Belgium.

The one-day event, held in the framework of the CIOPORA Annual General Meeting Week in Ghent, will feature an impressive lineup of speakers from leading European research institutions including ILVO Plant, INRA, VIB-Ghent, the Universities of Copenhagen, Ghent, Liverpool, and Wageningen, as well as commercial plant breeders and legal experts. The morning session of the Conference will focus on the latest developments in biotechnology, providing a broad overview of breeding technologies in ornamentals and fruits. During the afternoon session, practical, commercial and regulatory aspects of biotechnology will be explored by plant breeders and legal experts reflecting on how well the contemporary legal systems are equipped to respond to accelerating innovation in plant breeding.

Speakers and topics:

Morning session:
Genomics: an overview of technologies
Dr. Annelies Haegeman, ILVO Plant

New breeding techniques: CRISPR-Cas
Dr. Laurens Pauwels, VIB-Ghent

Protoplasts and their applications
Dr. Tom Eeckhaut, ILVO Plant

Dr. Nico De Storme, Ghent University

Application of A. rhizogenes for the transformation of ornamental plants
Dr. Henrik Lütken, Copenhagen University

Afternoon session:
Perspectives on the use of biotech in ornamental breeding
Dr. René Smulders, WUR

Perspectives on the use of biotech in fruit/apple breeding
Dr. François Laurens, INRA

Breeders’ perspective on biotechnology
Mr. Hans van den Heuvel, Dümmen Orange

Patentability of plant innovation and the recent amendment of the EPC
Ms. Heli Pihlajamaa, EPO Munich

Regulatory matters related to new breeding techniques
Dr. Niels Louwaars, Plantum

New Plant Breeding Innovation and the Patent System – Fit for future? The user perspective –
Dr. Michael Kock, dr. kock consulting

Recent developments in biotechnology and Plant Breeders’ Rights: Is the system still fit for purpose? Dr. Sven J. R. Bostyn, University of Liverpool

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