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A complex web of intellectual property (IP) policies surrounding the development of potentially valuable discoveries can make it difficult to use new technologies to address problems in developing countries (which often lack policies for defining IP rights).

In this article, Roger N. Beachy, president of the US-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, argues that academic research institutions should adopt IP policies that make the results of research available for use in developing countries, and that their scientists should be encouraged to do research that will benefit such nations.

Beachy notes that all research and licensing agreements at the Donald Danforth Center include a statement that it will make "provision for preserving the availability of the Intellectual Property for meeting the needs of the developing countries". He urges all academic and non-profit research institutions to follow suit.

Link to Science editorial

Reference: Science 299, 473 (2003)