Governments in the south need to better integrate south-south collaborations into their innovation policies and provide support to joint activities of firms from different developing countries. International organizations and philanthropic organizations engaged in promoting global health need to pay attention to the power of such south-south engagement in providing affordable health products.
"What is actually needed is a model of north-south-south collaboration, which harnesses the appropriate learning between developing countries and the technological and financial strengths of the North", says co-author Dr. Abdallah Daar of the MRC.
"There is considerable potential for firms in developing countries to be more cost effective than those in developed countries, providing health products that can reach more poor people in the developing world," he adds. "If successful, south-south collaboration increases capacity in science-intensive fields, improves the ability of developing countries to address their own problems, and contributes to economic development and quality of life in developing countries."
Although collaborations in science and technology have been high on the agendas of developing countries since the 1960s there has been little study of such collaborations and none at all into the health biotech sector until now.
Of the 288 health biotech firms that responded to the MRC survey, 27% reported south-south and south-north collaborations. South-north collaboration still dominates, with over half (53%) of the firms reporting collaborations with developed countries.
The study also determined that the vast majority (near 90 percent) of south-south collaborations relied on formal arrangements that ranged from supply agreements, to R&D cooperation and licensing agreements,to marketing and distribution agreements.
Cost and risk re
|Contact: Terry Collins|
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health