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Health Innovation Continues to Thrive in MENA

With almost 12.0 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses having been produced and delivered, and nearly 5 billion people worldwide having received at least one dose, the positive role IP protections play in advancing innovation is significant. In particular, the United Arab Emirates has demonstrated global leadership as one of the world’s most vaccinated country, with 95% of its population considered fully vaccinated.

As the threat of the pandemic is curbed and economies return closer to pre-COVID levels of growth and development, we should remember that strong, global IP protections enabled the innovation that made these vaccines possible, accelerated their production and will continue to allow the MENA region to innovate in new areas. As we celebrate World IP Day and World Innovation Day this year, it’s important to recognize the innovation and overall value that strong IP laws truly bring, by highlighting successes from the last year and looking ahead to new developments this year and beyond.

Across the Middle East and North Africa, countries have focused on supporting facilities within their countries to allow for greater research and innovation in markets. As a result of COVID-19, there has also been a new focus on developing digital health tools:

  • This year, the United Arab Emirates will open three new research and development labs at the Dubai Science Park to ensure sustainable innovation and manufacturing across the country.
  • The UAE has also furthered digital health innovations. The Emirates Health Services (EHS) is launching a health care metaverse platform to remove roadblocks to care for patients unable to physically attend a medical appointment.

Collaboration has also continued to be a key theme in innovation across MENA with countries, governments, and private companies all partnering to advance innovation:

  • The Abu Dhabi Department of Health and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced a collaboration to advance technological innovation in the fields of health and bio-convergence. This partnership will combine Abu Dhabi’s advanced health tech ecosystem and Israel’s innovation capabilities in the area of health care.
  • Across Africa, the H3D-Foundation (H3D-F) and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) announced a three-year partnership to strengthen capacity for health innovation and drug discovery.

MENA is well positioned for a strong year in health innovation and it’s essential that strong IP protections and policies remain in place to ensure patients across the region have continued access to innovative diagnostics, treatments and cures.

Resources

Global Investments in Science and Innovation were Resilient during COVID-19

A new report, Global Innovation Index 2022, from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that research and development (R&D) investments thrived at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and continued to boom in 2021. This spike in innovation occurred despite the global recession and economic lockdowns in many countries, pointing to the importance of innovation for pandemic solutions and recovery.

Partnerships Are Bringing Lifesaving Treatments To The Middle East And North Africa

As the world prepares for future public health threats to emerge, it’s imperative public and private sector leaders are collaborating to address these challenges with innovative treatments and solutions.

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Explore policy-related opportunities for governments, health officials and companies operating in the MENA health sector.

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