Technology Transfer Programme

Programmes & Initiatives

Learn more about our ongoing initiatives and activities below: 

Hear, Listen and Speak Programme for all Bhutanese Children

The Technology Bank, in collaboration with Medtronic Labs (MDT Labs), has established a consortium to support the Kingdom of Bhutan under the Hear, Listen and Speak Programme for all Bhutanese Children.

The programme will build locally-based professional capacity and services in newborn hearing screening, hearing technology, and habilitation that are essential for Bhutanese children 0-6 years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing. Moreover, the programme will enable treatment of children identified with ear disorders via ENT services and/or hearing aids as needed and establish a nationwide newborn hearing screening, sustainable supply of hearing technology. Furthermore, locally-based professional expertise and rehabilitation services will help babies and children 0-6 with hearing loss to listen and speak.

The programme also implements preventive screening and ear and hearing care services for Bhutanese children 7-14 years of age to protect their ears and hearing while referring them to existing specialised services as required. The programme over the three-year period will screen 190,000 children 0-14 for hearing loss and ear disorders (based on Program projections).

The programme will expand in partnership with MDT Labs to at least two more LDCs, beginning with Malawi. 

Technology Transfer Platform

To implement its mandate of facilitating technology transfer, the Technology Bank is currently engaged in negotiations with The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US State Department regarding the transfer of ownership of the “Global Innovation Exchange” (GIE) platform that will serve as a repository of technologies.

The US has agreed in principle to transfer ownership of the GIE to the Technology Bank. The Technology Bank has launched internal processes to prepare for its full acquisition and adaptation to the needs of the LDCs.

Technology Transfer Office Model

In April 2021, a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Technology Bank, the Technological and Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and the Industry University Collaboration Platform of Turkey (USIMP).

This MoU identifies possible areas of collaboration between the three organizations and provides that the signatories will collaboratively develop a model technology transfer office for use in the LDC context. USIMP will provide consultancy services for the model’s development while TUBITAK will support the process with its expertise and experience. The Gambia has been selected as the pilot country for this initiative.

Technology Access Partnership (TAP) (concluded)

The TAP, a platform aimed at facilitating access to health technologies in LDCs was initiated in Q2 2020. This incubation partnership’s core partners were WHO, UNDP, UNCTAD and the Technology Bank. Additional experts, in their institutional and individual capacities, also provided guidance on technical, legal, policy and regulatory issues required to support effective transfer of technology to entities in LDCs seeking to produce diagnostics, medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE).

In December 2020, the partners identified priorities and key challenges facing a longer-term implementation of TAP and identified capacity building in the manufacture of diagnostics as a key priority. This was particularly in the context of repeated requests from small and medium-sized manufacturers for support in understanding the regulatory environment and technical specifications needed to manufacture antigen-based rapid tests.

A Local Production & Diagnostics Working Group under the workstream of TAP on ‘diagnostics’ was established and provided unique inputs to a step-by-step handbook for governments and companies in LDCs to navigate the process of locally producing diagnostics for COVID-19 and other viruses. The comprehensive handbook will guide stakeholders to develop local manufacturing capability for affordable diagnostics in low to middle-income countries (LMICs) and LDCs framework to articulate the current context and guidelines required to address diagnostic access through local manufacturing. This could benefit both the COVID-19 emergency, other infectious diseases prevalent in LDCs (e.g., HIV/TB) and other outbreaks. This handbook was funded by the Technology Bank and Cambridge University and made possible by the expertise of the working group members. It will be launched in 2022.

The Technology Bank remains an implementing partner of the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a WHO-coordinated initiative that promotes open innovation models and technology transfer to increase local manufacturing and supply capacity. Despite the winding down of the TAP, the Technology Bank continues to actively participate in the steering committee meetings of the C-TAP. The first technology transfer will be for diagnostics where an offer from Spanish Research Institute (CSIC) license agreement is being discussed with the Medicine Patent Pool. The Local Production & Diagnostics Working Group emanated from TAP and provided valuable contributions. More on the archive project webpage...