Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli and Ambassador Dr. Lansana Gberie
European Union
182.   The European Union and its member States take their commitment under Article 66.2 of TRIPS Agreement very seriously. The EU and its member States provided proof year after year of having promptly and attentively reacted to natural, social, health, climate, food and economic changes by implementing projects specifically tailored to the current needs of LDCs and their regional organisations. The EU participated in the Workshop on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. This was the opportunity for all of us, LDCs and developed countries, to exchange in a positive atmosphere about the LCDs' needs and the progresses made in the field and for the EU to reaffirm its commitments in the matter. 183.   The EU would like to thank the Secretariat for the excellent organization of the Workshop and the excellent quality of the debates held. The EU would like also to thank in particular Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the WTO - most warmly for her intervention in the Workshop and her encouragement to continue the work on the subject. 184.   In October 2021, the EU submitted its annual report which provides a detailed update on the EU technology transfer programmes. This document was circulated in accordance with the Decision of the Council for TRIPS of 19 February 2003, according to which developed country Members shall submit annual reports on actions taken or planned in pursuance of their commitments under TRIPS Article 66.2. Our programmes cover the period from July 2020 to July 2021 and can be found in the e-TRIPS Portal. 185.   Beyond the EU-financed programmes, this year Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Sweden sent reports to the European Commission on technology transfer programmes provided to LDCs. The report submitted by the Commission is not an exhaustive list of all the programmes provided but gives a vast range of examples of the technology transfer programmes. The Report has a total of 113 technology transfer programmes, including 37 projects funded by the EU Institutions and 76 projects from the EU member States. The main incentive to promote technology transfer provided to EU enterprises, companies or universities are the grants but also the public-private partnerships financed by the EU institutions and the EU member States. The main financial source is the Horizon 2020 framework programme with a total budget of EUR 960 billion spread over several financial years. 186.   Due to the fact we have a packed agenda for these two-days meeting, we would like to refer to our interventions on this topic in previous meetings and in the Workshop which took place the previous week; in particular, our views on the issue of conditions for successful technology transfer, including the importance of absorptive capacity of LDCs. We would like to focus on some examples of the EU's and its member States' technology transfer programmes, mostly from the areas of the fight against climate change and agriculture and food. Climate change AfriAlliance - Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate in Burkina Faso 187.   The aim of AfriAlliance is to increase African preparedness for climate change by addressing the question of the knowledge gap of African stakeholders and to improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer in online and offline environments and events for African stakeholders acting in water and climate sectors. The programme contributes also to the improvement of water and climate monitoring and forecasting processes and tools in Africa. This programme is expected to foster both profitable and equitable use of resources without exceeding environmental limits or creating societal and/or stakeholder conflicts. The project also supported the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production (IAEREP) in Zambia 188.   This programme was subject to a presentation highly appreciated at the Workshop on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. The project aims to: a. Promote enabling regulatory framework, renewable energy friendly policies and more effective and inclusive sector institutions; b. Enhance government and private sector capacities to develop gender inclusive renewable energy and energy efficiency projects; and c. Improve Energy Efficiency at household and industry level by awareness raising and support to economic activities. 189.   This programme is the perfect example of Improved policies and planning for investments in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE/EE). IAEREP has increased the number of people getting access to energy services and strengthened the capacity-building of national institutions for improved policy and deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. The programme fosters know-how transfer to public and private entities on technical and economic aspects relating to Renewable Energy solutions and business models and deepens awareness raising of the society on effective and productive use of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency solutions and applications. Finally, IAREP develops incentives (grants) for private developers to stimulate investment in lowcarbon technologies to contribute to country goals on energy access and climate change mitigation (investment component: EUR 25 million). Food & Agriculture AfriCultuReS - Enhancing Food Security in AFRIcan AgriCULTUral Systems with the Support of REmote Sensing in Mozambique, Niger and Rwanda 190.   AfriCultuReS aims to design, implement and demonstrate an integrated agricultural monitoring and early warning system that will support decision making in the field of food security. AfriCultuReS delivers a broad range of climatic, production, biophysical and economic information, for various regions in Africa. The research strengthens user's operational capability in agricultural areas management activities, reducing costs and increasing performance by: a. Accessing relevant online services and integrating innovative R&D products, previously tested by end user organizations, into their own decision making chain; b. Acquiring more updated and accurate information which may improve their preparedness level and operational efficiency; and c. Obtaining information on crop & livestock status in a reliable, transparent and fast way, increasing trans-national cooperation between users who can share the same information. EU-African Union Research & Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) - first priority of the EU-AU High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation 191.   Countries concerned: Angola; Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Central African Republic; Chad; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Djibouti; The Gambia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Lesotho; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Nepal; Niger; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia (27 African countries and Nepal). The objective of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on FNSSA is to overcome fragmentation of efforts and mobilise knowledge (new and traditional) in order to sustain innovation processes and establish a jointly funded long-term partnership. 192.   Impacts of research, innovation and capacity-building are often only recognizable in the long term. In the short and medium term they can be measured through creation of new technologies, services and products. Most of the projects are still ongoing and have not yet produced records of specific outputs. Many of the projects are applying a multi-actor approach. They combine the knowledge systems of scientists, advisors, farmers and other food systems actors in creation, execution and implementation of results. They are addressing challenges within a regional, national or local context, if successfully implemented, they have potential to contribute towards increased knowledge, and to stimulate local and scaled-up innovation processes. 193.   Considering, in addition that the projects align with global developmental challenges such as addressing poverty, hunger and malnutrition, combating the effects of climate change and conserving biological resources. The projects have the potential for generating technologies and solutions with relevance and potential for uptake in LDCs in Africa and other partner countries. Total funding mobilised so far from 2016-2020 still ongoing: EUR 390 million. IRELAND: Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (Botswana; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe) 194.   The objective of the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme (AADP) is to develop partnerships between the Irish Agri-Food Sector and African companies to support sustainable growth of the local food industry, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa. The partnership involves new and additional resources to the Agri-Food sector and includes a combination of finance and technical assistance. Initiatives are based around the key themes of: Food Safety; Animal Health/Veterinary; Business development; Production systems; Training/Mentoring; Technology transfer; R & D; and Project Management. 195.   Grant support for feasibility studies and/or full commercial projects is provided on a 50/50 matched basis. Support for grant recipients to establish in-country private and public sector contacts through Irish Embassy networks. The grant must equal a maximum of 50% of the project's total costs, up to a cap of EUR 250,000. I just mentioned few of the programmes included in our report and we are available to reply to any question from LDCs partners.
56. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
51. The Chair recalled that the Council had conducted the Nineteenth Annual Review under Paragraph 2 of the Decision on the Implementation of Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement at its meeting in October 2021. At that meeting delegations from developed country Members had briefly presented the updated reports they had submitted under Article 66.2, and the Council had agreed that it would revert to the item at the present meeting to permit continued consideration of the submitted material. He also recalled that, in July 2020, the LDC Group had circulated a new submission entitled "Proposed New Template for Annual Reporting under Article 66.2 of the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights" in document .
52. In order to give LDCs more time to absorb the information provided by developed country Members in their reports, and to ensure that these reports were available in the official languages of the WTO, the Secretariat had once again organized a "Workshop on the Implementation of the Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement". Due to the sanitary situation, the workshop had been held in virtual format on 2, 3 and 4 March 2022. The Chair indicated that some capital-based delegates who had participated in that Workshop were present at the meeting.
53. The Chair asked the Secretariat to report on this Workshop.
54. A representative of the Secretariat took the floor.
55. The representatives of Sierra Leone; Chad,; Bangladesh; Togo; Nepal; Tanzania; Norway; the European Union; the United Kingdom, South Africa; Japan; Switzerland; the United States; Canada; and Australia took the floor.
56. The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/104/Add.1, IP/C/M/104/Rev.1, IP/C/M104