Important legal notice
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Economic development and cohesion
Economic development and cohesion - Banding together for prosperity
“To assess the impact of IPR rules on economic growth, environmental protection and social goals through quantitative and qualitative analysis.”

The problem

Technological developments and economic competitive pressures have – for different reasons – put intellectual property rights (IPRs) into the spotlight in developed and developing economies. As a result, the way IPRs are defined, acquired and managed has changed over the past 40 years. The European Commission wishes to assess the impact of rules governing IPR on economic growth, environmental protection and the achievement of social goals. It aims to identify those IPR-related policies supporting sustainable development in Europe and developing countries.

IPDEV  How intellectual property rights can support sustainable development


IPDEV will improve policymaking in those areas of IPRs and sustainable development where reliable data is scarce or missing.

The project will help to determine:

  • whether harmonised IPR rules are more efficient economically for nations with different levels of economic maturity
  • how EU candidate and developing countries can use TRIPS to enhance the economic and social welfare of their peoples
  • how TRIPS might be interpreted (or revised) to satisfy the needs of nations at different stages of economic development
  • How to apply TRIPS in the light of related international agreements on plant genetic resources

Contribution to policy development:

  • IPDEV will help improve understanding of how local producers can use local geographic indicators to compete successfully
  • It will help reconcile the demands of patent protection with those of protection of biodiversity and economic development
  • It will identify ways to design IPR systems to encourage scientific and technological research to benefit farmers, consumers, the private sector and the public

Project deliverables

  • Literature review on plant variety protection – September 2005
  • Report on TRIPS and biotechnology – October 2005
  • Final reports on ABS and agricultural diversity, technical assistance, and plant variety protection – May 2006
  • Evaluation and amalgamation of reports into consolidated document – July 2006


  • Project website with e-mail alerts on updates — continuous from February 2005
  • Distribution of press releases via press and reference sources — ongoing
  • Progress report – November 2005
  • Internal bulletin — Periodically

Technical information

Project acronym: IPDEV
Project’s official full title: Impacts of the IPR Rules on Sustainable Development
Research priority: 3.1. Underpinning European integration, sustainable development, competitiveness and trade policies (including improved means to assess economic development and cohesion)
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 503613
Start date: 01/01/2005
Kick off meeting: 13/01/2005
Completion date: 30/06/2006
European Commission scientific officer: Ian Perry (

Name: Graham Dutfield, Queen Mary, University of London
Abbreviated name: QMIPRI
Address: Mile End Road, London E1 4NS,
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: (44) 20 7882 5555


Name: Ecologic
Abbreviated name: ECOLOGIC
Country: Germany

Name: Universidad de Alicante
Abbreviated name:   ALICANTE
Country: Spain

Name: IP Bulgaria
Abbreviated name: IPBULGARIA
Country: Bulgaria

Name: Royal Institute of International Affairs
Abbreviated name: RIIA
Country: UK

Name: University of Warwick
Abbreviated name: WARWICK
Country: UK