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Drexel Signs Commitment to Speed COVID-19 Research

April 16, 2020

Drexel University is a Carnegie R1 research university with a mission to serve human health and societal needs through the commercialization of research discoveries. Meeting that mission means that at a time of crisis such as now, intellectual property protections must be balanced with urgency. For this reason, Drexel announces its commitment to the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework, a national model established by Stanford University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on April 7, 2020. The framework is intended to facilitate the rapid deployment of critically important technologies that may help prevent, diagnose or treat COVID-19. 

“Drexel is excited to join the group of universities around the country committed to reducing barriers imposed by intellectual property for licensing agreements,” said Aleister Saunders, Drexel’s executive vice provost for research and innovation. “This framework allows Drexel to expedite cooperation and collaboration between academic, corporate and government partners.” 

Drexel joins at least 17 other higher education signatories (to date) in this COVID-19 Technology Access Framework commitment: 

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.
For any questions related to the implementation of the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework at Drexel, please contact:

Aleister J. Saunders, Ph.D
Executive Vice Provost for Research & Innovation
Professor, Department of Biology

Shintaro Kaido
Vice Provost and Chief Innovation Officer
Executive Director, Office of Applied Innovation

Robert McGrath
Senior Associate Vice Provost for Technology Management
Office of Applied Innovation