Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)
Fiocruz brings from February 13th to 15th to Rio de Janeiro the annual meeting of the Global Community of Sustainable Technology and Innovation, G-STIC, which for the first time will be held in the Americas. Names such as Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), both online, and Nísia Trindade Lima, Brazilian Minister of Health, in person, come together at ExpoMag to discuss the topic For an equitable and sustainable future: innovative technological solutions for a better post-pandemic recovery. As the Foundation is the main co-host, health is given greater prominence at G-STIC Rio.
“It is an honor for Fiocruz to bring G-STIC to Rio de Janeiro. Fiocruz, as the main organizer of this edition, reinforces its global participation in the discussion of sustainable technologies and innovations, with a focus on health”, explained Mario Moreira, interim president of the Foundation. For Moreira, holding the conference on the continent gives special emphasis to the issue of global and regional inequalities in Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I). “This has proved to be one of the weaknesses of the international capacity to articulate response and preparedness for health emergencies. Equity and sustainability are presented, in this aspect, as other defining elements of this capacity”, he added.
The list of participants includes other important names, such as Macharia Kamau, a Kenyan diplomat who was the UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be achieved by 2030; Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Technology; and Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19. The list continues with the indigenous activist Samela Sateré Mawé and the Belgian princess Marie-Esmeralda, president of the Leopoldo III Fund for Nature Conservation, among others. Fiocruz also participates with its members such as Moreira himself; Marco Krieger, Vice President of Health Production and Innovation; Mauricio Zuma, director of the Institute of Technology in Immunobiologicals (Bio-Manguinhos); and the researcher Manoel Barral-Netto, from Fiocruz Bahia.
“The world is facing a great challenge: rebuilding itself on sustainable bases, respecting equity and inclusion, after the pandemic. And to face this process, the great reference is the 2030 Agenda, with the SDG”, explained Paulo Gadelha, coordinator of the Fiocruz Strategy for the 2030 Agenda (EFA 2030) and head of the organization of G-STIC Rio. The conference deals precisely with this question: thinking about how to guarantee effective and sustainable technologies aimed at the SDG. Gadelha recalled that, despite the proximity of 2030, the vast majority of these objectives are far from being met. “The challenge we have is how ST&I can change this scenario, break asymmetries, and guarantee access to technologies, which lead to accessible and inclusive processes. The pandemic has given us many examples of this, such as the vaccines against Covid-19, which were produced quickly but remained inaccessible to most of the population.”
Initially led by the Belgian technology institute VITO, which holds significant importance in the event, G-STIC gathers a group of institutions with representations in all regions of the world. The inclusion of Brazil in 2018, through Fiocruz, gave even greater relevance to the theme of health, which is clear to see in the February schedule.
“One of the unique assets of G-STIC is its multi-stakeholder and future-oriented perspective on ST&I. G-STIC analyses technology clusters and identifies solutions that substantively contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda principles and the SDGs. G-STIC brings together stakeholders from multilateral organizations, governments, industry, private actors, civil society, and academia. In tune with this approach, G-STIC Rio acknowledges the principles of solidarity and "working together" from the UN Secretary-General's report "Our Common Agenda" as paramount to accelerating SDG implementation. ST&I has the potential to catalyze community involvement in this process. The next G-STIC edition in Rio de Janeiro will bring this concept of integration, solidarity, and multilateralism across sectors, stakeholders, and countries into a common interest”, says Dirk Fransaer, Managing Director of VITO.
Special panel on vaccines
The sessions cover six themes: Health, Education, Water, Energy, Climate, and Oceans. In Health, Bio-Manguinhos is organizing panels on vaccines and immunization. The Challenges and Perspectives panel for local production, on the 14th and 15th, will be divided into four sessions bringing together specialists such as: James Fitzgerald, director of the Department of Health Systems and Services of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Lieve Fransen, senior advisor at the European Center for Health Policy; Carla Vizzotti, minister of Health of Argentina; and Tiago Rocca, vice president of the Membership Council of Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers (DCVMN); in addition to representatives of renowned international institutions in the area such as Wellcome, CEPI and Medicines Patent Pool, OXFAM and MSF, among others.
This agenda aims to discuss critical success factors for the local production of vaccines in developing countries, addressing the challenges and perspectives regarding demand and supply, financing, and the global perspective regarding intellectual property and access. Discussions will involve the systematic challenges of research and development and local production of vaccines, covering: health challenges taking into account the epidemiological scenario, emerging and re-emerging diseases, innovation financing experiences and preparedness for emergency responses, the challenges of developing local production capacities and financing, and equity and access to ensure vaccine and immunization for all.
Ethel Maciel, secretary of Health and Environment Surveillance (SVSA) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health; Hugo Gomes da Silva, Global Medical Lead for Vaccines at Astrazeneca; Júlia Spinardi, Pfizer senior director for Medical and Scientific Affairs; and Cristiano Pereira, from Business Development at Butantan, will take part at the event. Members of Fiocruz, such as senior scientific advisor Akira Homma, Mario Moreira, Mauricio Zuma, Rosane Cuber and Sotiris Missailidis, also will participate.
This is the sixth edition of G-STIC. Considered the most significant conference on Science, Technology, and Innovation to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, it had been held in Belgium since its inception in 2017. To increase its capillarity, it started to be held in other countries, and last year it took place during Expo Dubai. Fiocruz, co-host of the event since 2018, then suggested that the 2023 edition take place in Brazil.
The G-STIC conference is hosted jointly by VITO (a Belgian research and technology organization on cleantech and sustainable development) and seven other not-for-profit independent technology research institutes: Fiocruz, CSIR (The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa), GIEC (Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, China), GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea), NACETEM (National Centre for Technology Management, Nigeria), TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute, India), and SDSN (the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network).
In Brazil, G-STIC Rio has Petrobras, Pfizer, and Fiotec as its master sponsor, but is also sponsored by the companies Aegea, IBMP, Helda Gerdau Institute, Klabin, Sanofi, GSK, Enel, Engie, The Rockefeller Foundation, RaiaDrogasil, and Firjan, with the support of the Institute for Climate and Society.
The event takes place from February 13th to 15th at Expo MAG, in four auditoriums, and it will be streamed online. Journalists can register at this link.
To consult the program, please access G-STIC Rio.
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