the base for public funding should be broadened so as to take advantage of multiple opportunities for innovation.
Recommendation 4a. The Department of Commerce Advanced Technology Program should be encouraged to fund high-risk R&D for IPM, EBPM and alternatives that have commercial potential for early stage companies.
The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) funded by the Department of Commerce awards grants that average $1-5 million, making it a valuable source for an early stage company. Typically ATP awards companies grants for risky, cutting edge R&D that has commercial potential. New tools for ecologically based pest management could get a boost if new companies could successfully compete for ATP funding for developing new IPM tools and alternatives.
Recommendation 4b. Incentives should be increased for private companies to develop products and pest-management practices in crops with small acreages, including access to compete for Interregional Research Project 4 (IR4) funds used to obtain product registrations for minor-use crops.
The Interregional Research Project 4 (IR4) program exists to assist in getting products registered on minor crops. IR4 awards grants to university researchers for biopesticide research. It has a long history of success in getting registrations for products for minor crops when there are no incentives for large companies to do so. We expect over the next few years to see as much success with biopesticides as IR4 has had with chemicals. Private companies are not allowed to obtain grants, but they are most capable of moving new products to market. The IR4 program should broaden its scope and allow private companies to obtain grants. IR4 should also better measure the outcomes (such as impact on farmers) of its current biopesticide grant program for academic researchers.
Recommendation 4c. Redundancy in registration requirements should be reduced to expedite adoption of safer alternative products (such as biopesticides and reduced-risk conventional pesticides)
Increased harmonization of review processes between EPA and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL-EPA), for example, would reduce the time requirements for registration. To reduce duplication, such agencies as EPA and CAL-EPA should divide the review tasks up front. Streamlining registration, however, must not come at the expense of public safety and local preferences.
Incentives can also be put into place to foster the development of