For Norway, marine and polar areas have always been of core interest for the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. Bioprospecting and bio-innovation have the potential to create high value products in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and other life science-based industries.

Legal regulation of the use of genetic material from the polar areas is undergoing political discussions with the potential outcome of amending the legal regulations. The overall task of BIOs-POLAR is to analyse the legal conditions for academic and commercial use of the genetic resources from the polar areas.

The overall objetive of BIOs-POLAR is to create knowledge about how genetic resources from the polar regions can better be used for commercial and academic uses.

For the understanding of this overall issue, the following four areas will be researched in this project:

1) Explore the current legal situation for bioprospecting and bioinnovation in polar regions.

2) Provide a picture of the current practice of patent applications and academic publications based on genetic resources from polar regions. This working task is an empirical analysis of the current practice concerning patenting inventions from these geographical areas.

3) Explore how law affects company strategies in bioprospecting an bioinnovation.

4) Provide options for how regulations can be developed to spur academic and commercial research and development based on genetic resources from the polar regions

Project period: 2016-2020



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Research Council of Norway /POLARPROG Programme