24 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM SteffenNoleppa Nigel Moore, Head of Busi ness Administration at the KWS Cereals busi- ness unit and & ESA president since Oct. 2015. The European Seed Association is the pinnacle organization representing the European seed sector and at the head of this organization is the ESA president. In this capacity, Nigel has overseen the development and implementation of a new strategy for ESA with the vision of out- reach and communication of the societal benefits of innovation in plant breeding delivered through the seed sector. These messages are reaching regulators, policy makers and thought leaders throughout Europe through channels such as the HFFA research report in 2016 and the new media ‘#embracing nature’ campaign launched at the annual meetings in Rome and Riga with record attendance. Under his guidance, ESA successfully contrib- uted to a major policy development for patenting products of essentially biological processes, and a further expansion of the ESTA scheme both of which publicly exem- plify the sector’s commitment to trustful best practice. SteffenNoleppa, Managing Director of HFFA Research GmbH. In the past year, two ground-breaking HFFA research reports dealing with the European seed sector have been published; one on the eco- nomic and environmental benefits of plant breeding in the EU, and one on the soci- etal costs of banning neonicotinoid seed treatment in the EU. Both reports strongly underline the positions of the European seed sector. As an agricultural econo- mist and the lead author of these reports, Steffen has provided guidance to getting robust and science based data out there, data that should have an immediate and resounding impact on EU decision-making. In addition, Steffen has highlighted the importance of an improved access to new plant varieties in an international context, but focussing on Vietnam on a case study base in another research report. Marian Suelmann, Company lawyer at Rijk Zwaan & Chairperson of the ESA – Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR). Since 2007, ESA has advocated the need for a clarification to re-establish the balance between two IP systems that are available for breeders to protect their inventions; plant breeders’ rights on the one hand, and patents on the other. After years of discussion, the Commission issued a clarifying notice after which the EPO suspended all the proceedings related to patent applica- tions on plants, and will now process them in the light of the new decision. This has been one of the priority issues for the ESA CIPR for the past year. Under the longstanding chairmanship of Marian, ESA was successful in conveying this ESA message to the political forefront and prevail, leading to a major policy change. MarianSuelmann NigelMoore