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Socially Responsible Licencing

Recently, BTO attended the ASTP-Proton annual conference where the principle of Socially Responsible Licencing (SRL) was discussed. SRL seeks to address affordability and accessibility of drugs, therapies, diagnostics, crops, and vaccines to the developing world. The University of Bergen and BTO were among the first to implement this principle in the commercialization process.

Picture from UAEMs homepage.

The idea of SRL originated from the global student organization Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). UAEM consists of university students who believe that their universities have an opportunity and a responsibility to improve global access to public health goods. The accessibility of important medicines and public health technologies in poor nations is profoundly affected by the research, patenting and licensing decisions made by universities.

In 2011, the local student organisation of UAEM in Bergen suggested that the University of Bergen should participate in creating fair global access to research results within the field of medicine and health. The university board appointed a separate group to define the principle, and they defined a model that invites the subject of SRL to be debated in every commercialization process within the field. Therefore, SRL will be an issue raised in every agreement regarding medicine and its accessibility. The principles were established and approved in 2013.

Every partner to the university is expected to acknowledge and respect the principle, and these principles are therefore an important aspect for the business developers here at BTO. It’s also great to see that more and more universities are acknowledging the need for such principles, and ASPT Proton have increasingly implemented and raised the issue during their conferences. ASTP stand for Association of European Science & Technology Transfer Professionals and it is the leading organization in Europe for employees and companies working with technology transfer and commercialization of research results.

Both the University of Bergen and BTO are proud to be among the first to implement the principles, and we hope more will follow.

The full report from the university board meeting can be found here (In Norwegian) (PDF)

More information about UAEM can be found here (in English) (web link)

More information about ASTP-Proton can be found here (in English) (web link)