technology transfer

Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and Covid

This slideshow presents key messages from the recent Innovation Council – Bobab online discussion about extending bio-manufacturing networks in emerging regions, notably Africa. The discussion on February 8th featured Prof. Mark Schultz of the University of Akron School of Law, Anissa Boumlic of Merck Life Science, and Simon Agwale of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative. Click here for the video of the event, and click here to review a transcript of the event.

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BioNTech to supply modular vaccine plants to African countries

The German company BioNTech announced on February 16th its plans to supply modular plants to make mRNA vaccines to Rwanda, Senegal and, potentially, South Africa. This announcement came ahead of a Europe-Africa summit at which increasing vaccine production in Africa is expected to be a vital topic of discussion. Not only would BioNTech be responsible for the delivery and installation of the modules, but the company said it was prepared to transfer know-how to local partners to enable them to operate independently.

While it had been previously stated that voluntary technology transfers had so far been limited during the pandemic, this was contradicted by research published end-2021, which can be found in an online report

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Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regions

The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.

Click here to see the transcript.

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Capacity Building for Vaccine Manufacturing Across Developing Countries: The Way Forward

Innovation Council member Techinvention has published an article on capacity building for vaccine manufacturing. The authors of the paper show that challenges in the life cycle of vaccine production include process development, lead time, intellectual property, and local vaccine production. A robust and stable manufacturing process and constant raw material supplies over decades is critical. In a continuously evolving vaccine landscape, the need of the hour for developing nations is to manufacture their own vaccines besides having supply security, control over production scheduling and sustainability, control of costs, socio-economic development, and rapid response to local epidemics. There is a need for capacity building of workforce development, technology transfer, and financial support. Technology transfer has improved vaccine access and reduced prices of vaccines. Capacity building for the manufacturing of vaccines in developing countries has always been an area of paramount importance and more so in a pandemic situation. 

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Webinar on BioManufacturing: Expanding Production Capacity in Emerging Regions

The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.

Watch the webinar.

Information about speaker Anissa Boumlic is available here.

Information about speaker Mark Schultz is available here.

Information about speaker Simon Agwale is available here.

Information about AVMI is available here.

For more information on this discussion, click here to see the transcript.

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Unprecedented: The Rapid Innovation Response to COVID-19 and the Role of Intellectual Property

On 26 November the new research report about the role that intellectual property played in the development, manufacturing, and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics was launched in Geneva. The report was co-authored by Innovation Council’s very own Jennifer Brant, and Prof. Mark Schultz.

The report, along with other materials including an executive summary is available here.

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Route to Market Guide for Innovators

The Route to Market (R2M) series is being developed by the Department of Research Contracts & Innovation (RC&I) at the University of Cape Town using funding from the Department of Science and Technology’s National Intellectual Property Office (NIPMO). Each booklet focuses on a specific sector/product type and highlights the key steps and considerations in bringing such a product to market in that sector – with an emphasis on the local South African context.

The hope is that this guide on Medical Devices and other booklets, such as this guide on Pharmaceutical Products will be useful to both Researchers and Innovators, as well as Technology Transfer professionals working at institutional Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs).

The books have been released under a Creative Commons license to enable other institutions to customise them for their own use.

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Trade secrecy and COVID-19

In this working paper, Innovation Council’s Mark Schultz and his colleagues analyse how trade secrets and other IPRs underpin innovation and manufacturing of Covid-19 Vaccines. They document that innovators already are sharing secrets and know-how widely with dozens of partners across the world to produce vaccine and therapeutic doses as quickly as possible. In several instances, they are working closely with their biggest competitors, thanks to the security provided by trade secrecy and other IP laws.

The authors conclude that forcing the disclosure of trade secrets would get in the way of manufacturing badly needed doses of Covid-19 vaccines by undermining voluntary arrangements and diverting resources from where they are needed most.

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ICC-WIPO Virtual Seminar: Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the Time of Covid-19 and Beyond

On 20 July, ICC is co-organizing a seminar on “Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the Time of Covid-19 and Beyond – The Role of Knowledge Transfer Policies” together with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), AUTM, and the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). This virtual session will take place from 12:30-15:25 CET (Geneva time) and will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

Please register here with the following secure code: 33WSMBV521.

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