sara boettiger

sara boettiger bw

intro’d to Sara here:

Re-Thinking Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Models for the Poor

Published on Dec 10, 2013

The world faces a growing population, resource constraints, climate change, and a global food system under stress. But new technology is limited in its ability to address the problems facing those in poverty. 780 million still lack access to clean water. 1/5 of humanity lives without electricity. 80% of sub-Saharan Africa is farmed with a hand-hoe.

Sara Boettiger — Senior Advisor at Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and Assistant Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley — will discuss the need to re-think existing models of Intellectual Property Rights (e.g. patent pools, clearinghouses, humanitarian use licensing), re-invent our research agenda, and work to shift the international debate.

how we have all this tech.. but aren’t doing such a good job.. where’s the practicality:
sara slide

law and policy issues part of the problem..

Paul Pollock – if you haven’t talked to 100 farmers.. than don’t even try to think about a solution..

Jaco Roets – ness

3 topics that have changed so much:

1. geography of poverty- not so much defined by nation lines

[4/5 of who live under 2 dollars a day live in mid income countries]

19:18 – we have to come up with some better models..

2. landscape of innovation – passed idea that things are invented in developed countries.. et al

23 min – innovation in rapid prototyping..

yes that.

intellectual property rights in the informal world

3. role of companies – has changed

31 min – question – how much of this (rattled off technical finance words) matters.. and Sara responded – we don’t know…

33 min – one of constraints to companies.. attracting and maintaining talent..

in my ignorance.. seems a huge red flag if we’re having to attract/incentivize..?

we now have a chance to leverage a lot of innovation capacity.. if we do it right.. and this is where a huge number of the policy issues are..

so why are we insisting on policy again?

at 40 min – what Sara care’s about at the end of the day.. people

41 – defining a new research agenda

44 – we need a lot of new thinking in this space

ipr for poor – patent polls.. ?

trade secrecy? there’s no way that if you had a patent (in some of these spaces) that you could enforce it..

trademarks are really under explored..

rather than talking about the patent system.. are there other tools we could make more accessible..?

trust? i’m lost here. not sure where the assumption of ipr comes in..

49 min – ipr and innovation in africa

50 min – is there any protection for these ideas..

what? why are we protecting ideas?

51 – to encourage more into competition .. need a legal framework to protect their ideas..

what needs to happen for incentive.. ? we see it in environment and sustainability.. but not so much with tech/innovation..? one of the levers we are using right now.. esp when i talk to donors.. they understand innovative/financial side of things.. but not so much when it’s funding tech?..

not following her answer completely…

how is it just in line? perhaps because we are suiting our own assumptions everywhere..?


find/follow Sara:

her site:

sara boettier site


Sara on Berkman site via talk:

sara on berkman site for talk

Dr. Boettiger’s work focuses on: demand-driven innovation, public-private partnerships, commercialization strategies, intellectual property rights, and new product development principles applied to technologies for the poor. She has consulted for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, McKinsey & Company, and many others.  She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics and publishes on the law and economics of intellectual property rights, innovation, and poverty.


project Sara is working on .. (thinking this is why she spoke at and is involved with berkman center?):

wef global solution

This year The World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, launched a multi-million dollar global investigation of the new models.

A literature review and initial investigation has produced the first comprehensive taxonomy to describe these new networks. There are in fact nine distinct types, each having a significant impact in the world:

1. Policy networks like the International Competition Network

2. Operational and delivery networks like Crisis Commons

3. Knowledge networks like TED or Wikipedia

4. Advocacy networks like Kony 2012

5. Watchdog networks like Human Rights Watch

6. Platforms like Ushahidi

7. Global standards networks like the Internet Engineering Task Force

8. Governance networks like the Marine Stewardship Council

9. Networked institutions like the World Economic Forum


Sara is co-founder of :

saras global access in actionyeah. this stuff i just don’t get.. via link to news updates.. patents for humanity bill:

incentives for humanitarian patents

ie: for the sake of sustainability.. and the betterness.. i think we all are after.. shouldn’t we wonder about anything where we have to offer incentives..?

isn’t it less about offering incentives to american innovators and more about offering resources to local innovators.. ie: what do you need. to take care of local why’s.. no?


ownership ness