As you will see in this 14th issue, 2017 represented another year of a high number of applications, objections and appeals. Although the handling of applications and granting of titles is carried out year after year we continuously strive to make the procedure more efficient and user-friendly. In 2017, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) engaged in what can be described as a new type of activity, namely participating in bids for funds for projects relating to plant varieties. The European Commission has organised a research project under Horizon 2020 (H2020) which aims to improve both the accuracy and the efficiency of variety testing. Together with partners, the CPVO is participating in a consortium that will propose a project that, if selected, will be financed by H2020. IP Key China, Latin America and South-East Asia are EU projects financed by the European Commission which aim to promote intellectual property (IP) rights in various regions of the world. The CPVO has applied for funds from IP Key to finance plant variety protection (PVP) activities together with China for a 3-year period. Other activities are being planned in South-East Asia and Latin America. There is also an EU project aimed at financing projects in Africa and the CPVO has made a bid with partners. I am convinced that such activities will have increased importance in the future and that the CPVO will evaluate how best it can participate as an EU agency in the development of the EU PVP system as well as PVP systems elsewhere to fulfil the objectives of the new CPVO strategic plan 2017-2021. I welcome you to read about this and many other activities in this issue.
President of the CPVO