UBC technologies have the potential to generate significant societal impacts, and our technologies relating to the advancement of health, the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainability have the most obvious benefits for a global society.
An early element of UBC’s knowledge mobilization strategy was the creation of UBC’s global access principles to ensure developing world access to relevant technologies.
In 2007, UBC became the first university in Canada to develop a broad strategy to ensure global access to its technologies. A key component in maximizing the societal impact of UBC research, the strategy has been developed by UBC's University-Industry Liaison Office in collaboration with the UBC chapter of the student group Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Vice President Research Dr. John Hepburn, and UBC President Stephen J. Toope.
In January 2010, following further stakeholder consultation, UBC endorsed the AUTM Statement of Principles and Strategies for the Equitable Dissemination of Medical Technologies. More details
- A History of Global Access at UBC
- Examples of Current Global Access Projects at UBC
- UBC Neglected Global Diseases Initiative
UBC Global Access Principles
In order for UBC technologies to maximize their societal impact, practical mechanisms and partnering strategies are required that (a) enhance both the economic and societal impact of University innovations; (b) extend these impacts to broader global settings; and (c) ensure fair access to these technologies for the world's poor within an evolving framework of licensing practices, legal concerns, business opportunity and time constraints.
Broadening the societal impact of and global access to UBC technologies requires that these concerns are addressed when new UBC technologies are developed, patented and licensed. To this end, while applying the University's intellectual property policy, UBC will:
- Promote global access by entering public/private partnerships to develop new technologies to benefit the developing world
- Prioritize environmentally friendly research and green alternatives, and take the lead in community sustainability
- Respect biodiversity, ensuring value return to countries of origin
- Endeavour to ensure that under privileged populations have 'at cost' access to UBC research innovations through negotiated global access terms whenever appropriate
As the understanding of issues relating to societal licensing evolves, balancing ambitious objectives with legitimate business concerns requires patience, determination, and the willingness to be both pragmatic and flexible. To support our social licensing commitment, UBC will, where possible, employ the following strategies:
- Build on the values of access and dissemination as demonstrated in the open source movement in the IT sector
- Promote the use of non-exclusive licensing of research tools (for example, the West Coast Licensing Partnership on FlintboxTM)
- Consider field-of-use and jurisdictional limitations in exclusive licenses to exclude developing world countries
- Negotiate developing world access 'at cost' to relevant technologies which are licensed on a world-wide exclusive basis (required for technology development)
- Continue to seek partnerships with not-for-profit and charitable organizations to provide much needed funding for neglected disease areas
- Design patent strategies with our development partners that ensure quality product delivery to those most in need, while promoting sustainable, local infrastructure
In measuring the success of technology transfer activities at UBC, societal impact has become a key metric alongside standard throughput, financial and economic measurements. Positive societal impacts include improving human and veterinary health, supporting international biodiversity, protection of the environment, and promoting sustainable green alternatives.
For more information on how the global principles may apply to specific technologies or general questions related to our strategy, please email email@example.com.
Developing World: Those countries defined as low income or low middle income by the World Bank