Public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade

Technology transfer for health related products

Technology Transfer Initiative

The Technology Transfer Initiative within the office of the ADG on Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) works to: identify where transfer of health-related technologies to developing countries will improve access to these products and lead to improved health; and when appropriate, to promote and facilitate this technology transfer.

This is achieved through:

  • Identification of new mechanisms and better use of existing mechanisms to facilitate transfer of technology and technical support to developing countries. Including:
    • creation of centres of excellence to undertake process development, training, and technology transfer to developing countries;
    • negotiation of licenses to essential technologies on behalf of developing country manufacturers.

  • Facilitation of technology transfer and production of health products in developing countries through investment and capacity building. Including:
    • resource mobilization at the international level;
    • issuance of grants to developing country manufacturers and monitoring of progress through technical advisory committees;
    • provision of evidence to developing country manufacturers on appropriate technologies and their costs and cost effectiveness.

  • Promotion of technology transfer through identification of best practices. Including:
    • conduct landscapes of technology transfer to identify conditions for successful technology transfer;
    • conduct workshops with stakeholders to address weaknesses in capacity to receive technology transfer.

The activities conducted by this initiative serve to implement specific components of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Intellectual Property and Health (GSPA-PHI) as well as the Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines.

This initiative has facilitated the establishment of local production of pandemic influenza vaccines in 14 developing countries through seed funding and technical support. In addition WHO established two technology transfer hubs providing critical know-how on pandemic influenza manufacturing and adjuvant production technologies to manufacturers, and negotiated royalty-free licenses to live attenuated influenza vaccine technology on behalf of the developing country manufacturers.

The concept of creating centers of excellence able to establish and transfer manufacturing processes to multiple recipients, as well as negotiation of royalty free licenses for public sector sales in developing countries, is currently being applied to other medical products including for the production of monoclonal antibodies for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, and other biologicals.

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Other technology transfer initiatives/hubs


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Last update:

10 April 2014 09:07 CEST

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