Biodiscovery benefit sharing agreement

A benefit sharing agreement is an agreement between the Queensland Government ('the state') and the biodiscovery entity. Under this agreement, the state confers upon a biodiscovery entity the right to take and use native biological material (e.g. plants, animals, fungi, micro-organisms) from State land or Queensland waters for biodiscovery and specifies the benefits of biodiscovery which are to be returned to the state.

All benefit sharing agreements are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. However, the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation has developed a model benefit sharing agreement (DOCX, 102KB) as a starting point for negotiations and the Guideline for preparing a benefit sharing agreement, which contains information on the purpose and content of benefit sharing agreements.

A biodiscovery entity may also enter into a 'subsequent use agreement' with another biodiscovery entity who may be part of the research or commercialisation process. In this case a benefit sharing agreement must state the prescribed minimum terms that must be included in any subsequent use agreement entered into under the benefit sharing agreement.

The department administers benefit sharing agreements in Queensland. Biodiscovery cannot commence until a benefit sharing agreement is in place between the biodiscovery entity and the state.

The benefits of biodiscovery under the Biodiscovery Act 2004 include economic, environmental, and social benefits. A benefit sharing agreement formalises the nature of the benefits to be realised by the state and the way in which the state will receive them.

An approved collection authority is required prior to entering into a benefit sharing agreement—the Queensland Government will not enter into a benefit sharing agreement unless satisfied that the biodiscovery entity is compliant with the traditional knowledge obligation, if applicable.

Email for help developing a benefit sharing agreement or to organise a pre-application meeting.

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