Biodiversity, Biotechnology And Intellectual Property: Their Relevance For The Development Of Colombia - Food - Mondaq Colombia - Mondaq Business Briefing - Books and Journals - VLEX 671988705

Biodiversity, Biotechnology And Intellectual Property: Their Relevance For The Development Of Colombia

Author:Mr Nelson Ortega
Profession:Clarke, Modet & Co

Biotechnology has emerged as one of the most forward-looking fields of science in recent decades, and a large number of nations have set their sights on it as a long-term development pillar, given its wide range of applications and the leapfrogging of current information technology, which allows to further exploit its potential.

Biotechnology has already proven to be an option for growth in multiple economic sectors, finding applications of high importance in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food, veterinary, cosmetic, environmental, agricultural, energy, among others, which make it an opportunity for those developing countries in search of a boost for the progress of their economies.

It is then in biotechnology that a country like Colombia, which occupies the second place after Brazil in world biodiversity, with around 10% of the fauna and flora of the planet, can find possibilities of great impact for its economic growth and technological development. However, it is not a simple challenge if one takes into account the little investment that, unfortunately, is destined for R&D in the country. For example, according to World Bank data for the year 2014, Colombia allocated about 0.2% of GDP for this purpose, an amount significantly lower than the world average of about 2%, and much lower than the number one country in this regard, South Korea, which investment in R&D is above 4% of GDP.

In this manner, the government, academics and companies must work together to transform this enormous biodiversity into a factory of knowledge and innovation that translates into solutions to both local and global problems, which in the long term will allow to narrow the economic-technological gap between Colombia and the most developed countries in the world.

Thus, in the commitment to research in general as a driving force for development, and in particular concerning the emerging biotechnology, intellectual property plays a decisive role for its progress; this is due to the fact that tools for the protection of inventions, such as patents, greatly influence the decision of companies to invest or not their capital in a particular sector, and even more in biotechnology, which is undoubtedly one of those with highest cost in both R&D and product development and process design.

Hence, it is possible to evidence in different countries a closely related...

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