[Ip-health] NSF, Gates Foundation policies on sharing data and intellectual property in agricultural BREAD basic research grant program

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Jan 5 09:54:43 PST 2011

This is much easier to follow on the blog url:


NSF, Gates Foundation policies on sharing data and intellectual property
in agricultural BREAD basic research grant program

By James Love
Created 5 Jan 2011 - 8:30am

The US based National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation are collaboration on a program called Basic Research to
Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) [1]. A May 12, 2010 NSF
announcement about the program is available here [2]. This is NSF Press
Release 09-053 [3] from March 30, 2009, which includes an audio
interview of Gates Foundation officials, and Press Release 10-082 [4],
which includes a link the grants made in fiscal year 2010 [5].

BREAD is described by the NSF grant solicitation as follows:

<-----Synopsis of Program:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (BMGF) are partnering to support a new research program to be
administered by NSF. The objective of the BREAD Program is to support
innovative scientific research designed to address key constraints to
smallholder agriculture in the developing world. A significant
distinction between BREAD and other NSF programs is that proposals to
BREAD must make a clear and well-defined connection between the outcomes
of the proposed research and its direct relevance and potential
application to agriculture in the developing world. The BREAD Program
will take the activities of the PGRP to the next level by supporting a
broader range of scientific research and by enabling funding to be
allocated to international collaborators through subawards.

The Program's focus is on novel, transformative research at the
proof-of-concept stage rather than its application or development.
Especially encouraged are original proposals that address major
constraints to the productivity of crops important to smallholder
farmers, or on the development of novel and efficient production
practices. Although the Program places an initial emphasis on crop
improvement, it will also consider innovative research proposals from
scientists in all fields of research and engineering as long as the
proposed research is consistent with the Program objectives. Proposals
are also expected to address project outcomes in the context of broader
societal impacts, and as appropriate to the research proposed, engage
international partners in scientific collaborations.------>

The applications for the grants are limited to U.S. based non-profit
universities and research organizations. However, the applicant may
collaborate with for-profit or foreign research institutions.

<----Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
Universities and colleges [universities and two- and four-year colleges
(including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus
located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such
organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.]; US
non-profit research organizations, including museums, research
laboratories, professional societies; or similar organizations in the US
that are directly associated with educational or research activities; or
consortia led by the eligible organizations listed here.

A proposal from a consortium of organizations must be submitted as a
single proposal with one US organization serving as the lead and all
other organizations as subawardees. Separately submitted collaborative
proposals will not be accepted and will be returned without review.

Subawards may be made to US or non-US academic institutions, research
organizations, research laboratories, professional societies and similar
organizations that are directly associated with educational or research

As described below, in additional review criteria, "proposers are
strongly encouraged to include one or more international collaborators."

In cases where there is particpation by for-profit entities, the NSF
requires the private sector to abide by program policy on intellectual
property rights:

<------Industrial Collaboration: Private industry has already made a
significant investment in plant genomic research. Innovative
collaborations with industry are encouraged when they advance the goals
of the program. Participation of a company as a provider of a service
should be managed according to the submitting institution’s procurement
policy. When private industry is involved, the proposer is responsible
for ensuring that any intellectual property issues are handled according
to the program policy (see section A-1 under Special Information and
Supplementary Documentation below).

The BREAD program requires each applicant to describe "the management of
intellectual property rights related to the proposed project, including
plans for sharing data, information, materials, and/or any plans for
protection of technologies or new devices resulting from the award with
specific attention to the implications of data access for developing

A-1) Sharing of Results and Management of Intellectual Property (maximum
3 pages): Describe the management of intellectual property rights
related to the proposed project, including plans for sharing data,
information, materials, and/or any plans for protection of technologies
or new devices resulting from the award with specific attention to the
implications of data access for developing countries. This plan must be
specific about the nature of the results to be shared, the timing and
means of release, and any constraints on release. The proposed plan must
take into consideration the following conditions where applicable:

Nucleic acid sequences must be released according to the currently
accepted community standard (e.g. Bermuda/Ft. Lauderdale agreement) to
public databases (GenBank, if applicable), as soon as they are assembled
and the quality checked against a stated, pre-determined quality

Proposals that would develop genome-scale expression data through
approaches such as microarrays should meet community standards for these
data (for example, Minimum Information about a Microarray Experiment or
MIAME standards). The community databases (e.g. Gene Expression Omnibus)
into which the data would be deposited, in addition to any project
database(s) should be indicated.

If the proposed project would produce community resources (biological
materials, software, etc.), NSF encourages that they be made available
as soon as their quality is checked to satisfy the specifications
approved prior to funding. The timing of release should be stated
clearly in the proposal. The resources produced must be available to all
segments of the scientific community, including industry. A reasonable
charge is permissible, but the fee structure must be outlined clearly in
the proposal. If accessibility differs between industry and the academic
community, the differences must be clearly spelled out. 

If a Material Transfer Agreement is required for release of project
outcomes, the terms must be described in detail.
When the project involves the use of proprietary data or materials from
other sources, the data or materials resulting from BREAD-funded
research must be readily available without any restrictions to the users
of such data or materials (no reach-through rights). The terms of any
usage agreements should be stated clearly in the proposal.

Budgeting and planning for short-term and long-term distribution of the
project outcomes must be described in the proposal. If a fee is to be
charged for distribution of project outcomes, the details should be
described clearly in the proposal. Letters of commitment should be
provided from databases or stock centers that would distribute project
outcomes, including an indication of what activities would be undertaken
and funds needed for these activities (if any).

The project should be aware of, and abide by, the general policies of
NSF with respect to the patenting and licensing of any new technologies
or devices that may be generated in the course of the project (see Award
& Administration Guide, Chapter VI Section B. Intellectual Property).

In case of a multi-institutional proposal, the lead institution is
responsible for coordinating and managing the intellectual property
resulting from the BREAD award. Institutions participating in
multi-institutional projects should formulate a coherent plan for the
project prior to submission of the proposal.------------>

The NSF also spells out the following Additional Review Criteria:

<----------International Collaboration: Proposers are strongly
encouraged to include one or more international collaborators as
appropriate for the proposed research. Collaborations are encouraged
that would build on the specific knowledge, local resources or
agricultural needs of the international participants. Where applicable,
proposed research activities should be coordinated with similar efforts
in other countries to maximize efficiency and avoid unnecessary
duplication of effort.
Data Sharing: Proposers are encouraged to consider project outcomes in
the context of the broader international community and ensure maximal
accessibility and visibility to all. Outcomes are expected to meet
current community standards for genomics data and be deposited in
long-lived community databases where appropriate.

Integration of Research and Education and Broadening Participation:
Activities supported through the NSF-BMGF Program should provide an
ideal environment for training young scientists in modern research
technologies, introducing them to new paradigms in biology, and
promoting increased participation by members of under-represented
groups. NSF expects proposers to take advantage of the unique
opportunities the proposed project provides in terms of education and
incorporate these into the plan at a scale that is commensurate with the
scale and scope of the proposed activity. Focused activities that fit
well with the specific opportunities offered by the project would be
viewed as a strength. However, projects that focus primarily on
education or training are beyond the scope of the program and may be
returned without review. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact a
Program Director for additional guidance.

Societal Impacts: Issues related to societal impact, including
implications for developing country agriculture, should be addressed as
an integral part of the proposal. These may be integrated into an
education and/or outreach activity designed to communicate the
significance of the outcomes to the end-users.----------->

Source URL: http://keionline.org/node/1049

[1] http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2009/nsf09566/nsf09566.htm
[2] http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503403&org=DBI
[3] http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=114493
[5] http://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/bread10.htm
James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org | http://www.twitter.com/jamie_love
Wk: +1.202.332.2670 | US Mobile +1.202.361.3040 | Geneva Mobile +41.76.413.6584

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