Cross-border research collaboration and scientific data exchange are essential for confronting COVID-19

  • 30 April 2020

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) underlines the importance of cross-border scientific research collaboration and timely global scientific data exchange in developing and deploying diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to tackle COVID-19.

Welcoming the recent landmark World Health Organization (WHO) public-private partnership to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies, ICC highlights the importance of strengthening public-private partnerships, international research collaboration, and facilitating cross-border information exchange for tackling  COVID-19 and future human, animal and plant health emergencies.

“COVID-19 and other epidemics cannot be solved by one government – they require sustained global cooperation,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.

“Less visible than cross-border flows of essential medicines and goods, but as important, is the necessity of maintaining research infrastructure and collaboration, and the international flow of scientific information. Pathogens and epidemics do not respect borders; solutions to combat these can only be found through international cooperation.

In a statement issued today, ICC points out the crucial role of open and timely access to medical and scientific data in enabling real-time progress in the understanding of COVID-19. Full genome data was publicly shared less than 24 hours after the first coronaviruses were sequenced by Chinese public health laboratories, allowing scientists around the world in public and private sector research to immediately start working on candidate medical countermeasures.

To support the on-going response to COVID-19 and prepare for future pandemics, ICC calls upon policymakers to ensure that regulations do not undermine the open data exchange and legal certainty necessary to international scientific collaboration and research in both the private and public sector. Facilitating and supporting international research collaborations and information exchange on an on-going basis is necessary to build the necessary foundation for tackling future emergencies and more globally diverse research capacity.

Read the full statement. 

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