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University Signs on to COVID-19 Technology Access Framework

Framework reflects national movement to share COVID-19 related intellectual property to support rapid development of treatments and diagnostics

Research directly related to COVID-19 at the University of Nevada, Reno is being conducted in keeping with a COVID-19 technology access framework. The University has joined with other leading research universities as a signatory to the effort that calls for technology transfer strategies to allow for rapid utilization of available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 during the pandemic.

“We strongly believe that a situation with the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, a willingness to collaborate and the ability to be nimble are critical,” said Ellen Purpus, assistant vice president for enterprise & innovation, who oversees the University’s commercialization and technology transfer programs. “Flexibility with regard to intellectual-property management is part of this. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

Research related to COVID-19 is underway at the University in the areas of medicine, science, community health, sociology and robotics.

The framework was developed by initial signatories Stanford University, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The full text follows:

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, institutions involved in the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework are implementing technology transfer strategies to allow for and incentivize rapid utilization of available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.

To achieve the common goal, the University is committed to the following guidelines:

  1. We are committed to implementing COVID-19 patenting and licensing strategies that are consistent with the 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.


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