Ensuring Access to Lifesaving Technologies During the Pandemic


Apr 10 2020

Harvard University, MIT, SPARK Finland, SPARK Global, covid-19, Covid-19 Technology Access Framework, Stanford University

SPARK Finland and SPARK Global network support a new collaborative network established by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. Three top-tier universities announced a joint initiative “COVID-19 Technology Access Framework” for speeding up development of solutions on COVID-19 pandemia. According to initial announcement

We strongly believe that while intellectual property rights can often serve to incentivize the creation of new products, such rights should not become a barrier to addressing widespread, urgent and essential health-related needs. To address the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are each implementing technology transfer strategies to allow for and incentivize rapid utilization of our available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.

To achieve our common goal, we each individually commit to the following guidelines:

1. We are committed to implementing COVID-19 patenting and licensing strategies that are consistent with our goal of facilitating rapid global access. For most types of technologies, this includes the use of rapidly executable non-exclusive royalty-free licenses to intellectual property rights that we have the right to license, for the purpose of making and distributing products to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 infection during the pandemic and for a short period thereafter.  In return for these royalty-free licenses, we are asking the licensees for a commitment to distribute the resulting products as widely as possible and at a low cost that allows broad accessibility during the term of the license.

2. We are committed to making vigorous efforts to achieve alignment among all stakeholders in our intellectual property, including research sponsors, to facilitate broad and rapid access to technologies that have been requested to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. We are committed to making any technology transfer transactions related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic our first priority, and to minimizing any associated administrative burdens.

After initial signatories (Harvard, MIT and Stanford) Cornell University was the next one to join the network.

SPARK is a community based and globally established program for supporting emergence of new solutions for human health by scientists, clinicians and students. That is why we strongly encourage all universities, university hospitals and research institutions to join forces for finding solutions to COVID-19 pandemia.