155. The United States attributes great importance to this review with respect to the obligations under Article 66.2. Our submission this year, document , is a new report, detailing programmes aimed to support LDCs in fostering the necessary environment to encourage the effective, voluntary transfer of technology to LDCs on mutually agreed terms. The US submission details programmes ranging from intellectual property and trade capacity-building to the health, labour, and environmental sectors. Similar to previous submissions, this report includes comments from host country government and private sector representatives regarding the value of several of the programmes listed in the report.
156. The United States believes that for Article 66.2 of the TRIPS Agreement to function effectively, there must be a robust dialogue between developed country Members and LDCs. Strong communication between partners is critical to ensure targeted incentives remain responsive to the self-identified technology transfer interests and needs of LDCs. The US government interagency strives to make this a priority in all our engagements with our host government partners around the world and would continue to explore ways to improve upon the process as we go forward.
157. Chair, please allow me to mention some elements contained in our 2021 report, highlighting a few programme updates. While the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges, it did not impede the modified implementation of many of our technology transfer projects. For example, in support of the Department of State's strategic goal of enhancing economic development, the State Department's Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau continued its International Visitor Leadership Program or IVLP to assist partner countries, including LDCs. Under normal conditions, IVLP projects take place in-person with visits to the United States. As a result of travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, all IVLP programming took place virtually.
158. The IVLP U.S. Energy Policy - Security, Independence, and Innovation included participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal. The programme examined domestic and international cooperative efforts to promote energy innovation and US policies that enhance energy security. During 14 October – 6 November 2020, participants examined US efforts to reduce pollution, promote clean energy sources, mitigate environmental impact, ensure secure power grids and waterways, and enact sound energy policies. Participants met virtually with policy makers, industry leaders, academics, scientists, and citizen groups to discuss their views on local and regional energy resources, production, and sustainability.
159. As Uganda approaches HIV epidemic control and improves capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks, the US Government continues to provide substantial resource and technical support for building health information system (HIS) capacity. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) programmes, US government staff, local NGOs, and the Government of Uganda officials have developed electronic medical records, laboratory information systems, and specimen and commodities tracking systems. These analytical tools and dashboards help health professionals from community to national levels provide quality patient care and monitor disease outbreaks and responses.
160. Over 1,300 health facilities are implementing electronic medical records in HIV clinics. Health Information Exchanges have enabled the automatic relay of data via the internet from remote health facilities nationwide to a national repository dashboard to monitor priority tests, such as early infant diagnosis of HIV and tuberculosis (TB). PEPFAR and GHSA programmes also established internet based communications platforms at Ministry of Health, Regional Referral hospitals, some district health offices, as well some health facilities for industry standard tools like Zoom and ECHO to support remote implementation, training and mentoring (Project Echo), and monitoring of service providers to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
161. Commenting on the programme, a Uganda Ministry of Health National Health Laboratory and Diagnostics Services ICT Manager said, "With support from US Centers for Disease Control, the Ministry of Health, Central Public Health Laboratories set up a Data Center at Butabika initially hosting the HIV Reference Testing Laboratory information Systems. With good internet, the facilities are able to access their test results immediately they have been uploaded by the reference laboratories. The Data Center hosting environment has engineered technological innovations to address public health issues."
162. A Principal Clinical Officer from the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda said: "Thank you for this Build Uganda Health Informatics Capacity, ICT training for health workers. I had never received any ICT training in my life. With this training, I can now operate a computer, use it to write a report, analyse, and visualize data using graphs."
163. Our report describes about 140 programmes just like these ones, that shows how the US Government transforms lives. However, no report can truly represent every activity that directly or indirectly incentivizes enterprises and institutions for the purpose of promoting and encouraging technology transfer. This report attempts to describe the most significant activities and programmes and to convey the breadth and depth of efforts by the United States.
164. We look forward to further discussing our technology transfer programming with the LDCs at the next workshop, and we commend the Secretariat for putting together yet another fantastic workshop during the pandemic.