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This Newsletter aims to provide information regarding the latest successes, opportunities and changes in UAEM, as well as the most important news from the intersection of intellectual property and global health.
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Dear UAEMers all over Europe!
It is spring, birds are singing and UAEM is doing full-blown action!
Also, we're happy to announce two latest members of the Newsletter team: Marie and Martin from Berlin have began to work on this issue and we are eager seeing them rise and shine in Newsletter work!
Peace out.
Irene, Andia, Chris, Yuri, Marie, Martin


At the recent UAEM Europe conference in London, we held a panel titled "Strategic campaigning - lessons from advancing UAEM goals on campuses"In this column, I would like to present a few strategic principles based on the speakers' presentations.


Kristine Husøy Onarheim was a co-founder of UAEM Norway in 2009. She co-lead the SRL working group of UAEM Bergen and described how their chapter was successful in convincing Bergen university to adopt SRL in 2013. Their methods included prompting the university to create a working group composed of researchers, management and UAEM students. This group drafted an SRL policy which was approved by the university board. Kristine offered several strategic lessons on why their campaign succeeded (more info here):
  1. They were a dedicated group of 3 people from UAEM committed to this campaign for several years.
  2. They were constantly pro-active - setting the agenda and suggesting new steps. For example, they composed a list of people they thought should be on the working group and presented it to the university. 
    They encouraged media to write articles on the topic and sent them to the university's management. They kept sending reminders to management to maintain awareness of the issue. 
  3. They were well prepared - knowledgeable regarding SRL at their university, in Norway in general and in an international context. This allowed them to identify potential allies, enabling them to make a serious impression on university staff and to create solid arguments on why Bergen should adopt SRL.
*Here is the full SRL policy adopted by Bergen university, in Norwegian. 
 
Ravendra Naidoo, who helped found UAEM Alberta in Canada, described his chapter's reaction to the 2013 publication of  UAEM's North America Report Card. You can learn more about it here
Here are the University of Alberta's Report Card gradesA minus for access, D minus for innovation and C for empowerment.
  • Innovation: The Report Card revealed that only 0.05% of the university's research was on neglected diseases. UAEM Alberta set out to increase it by starting an ND research fund to support researchers in Alberta working in this field. 
  • Empowerment: Following the low grade on the Report Card, UAEM decided to create an academic course called "Drugs for the developing world", in order to:
    • Create educational materials for UAEM trainings.
    • Recruit students to UAEM.
    • Raise awareness and change the culture in Alberta University.
Strategic lesson: When starting to plan a strategy to achieve change, it is necessary to understand the current situation first. The Report Card is an excellent tool for this, because it reflects the situation in universities regarding access to medicines at a certain time. It thus allows us to define clear and concrete goals as to what needs to be improved.
 
Thilo von Groote, who re-founded the UAEM Munster chapter in Germany, talked about how the chapter persuaded Munster university to adopt a SRL policy (his presentation). They recruited the student council to the cause. Additionally, they managed to instate a supportive professor on the university's panel that decides on licensing policies. A philosophy professor on the panel was assigned the responsibility to set SRL in motion whenever it seemed relevant to a patent. 
Strategic lesson: Sometimes it is difficult to reach the university's most senior person or body in charge of approving the licensing policy. In such cases, a good way to move forward is a "bottom-up"approach - gaining the support of student organizations and of researchers as allies in promoting SRL. Here's the document that Thilo provided  - containing tips for SRL establishment. 

Hi from the new Board!

Dear members of UAEM Europe,

You elected us as the new board members for the term 2015-2016 at the General Assembly in London. We are very honored to be able to serve UAEM in this way, and we are hoping to continue the incredible work that has already been done by the past Board to help UAEM Europe to work towards universal access to essential medicines!

The eight new board members are:
Caroline Gallant, Uppsala University, Sweden
Isabelle Erbacher, Imperial College London, England
Jonathan Meldrum, University College London, England
Rachel Kiddell-Monroe, McGill University, Canada
Thomas Deimel, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Zavira Heinze, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Max Bender, Charité Berlin, Germany
Max Brauner, Charité Berlin, Germany

We are currently in a transition period from the old Board and are planning a first physical meeting in the summer. Please let us know if we can help you in any way! We are looking forward to working together with you.

Sincerely,
Your new Board: Caroline, Isabelle, Jonathan, Rachel, Thomas, Zavira, Max and Max

News from the SSWG !

As you might know our working group, Sustainable Structure Working Group (SSWG), started about a year ago evaluating UAEM’s current structure and after multiple feedback rounds, we could come up with our final proposal that was voted through during the GA in London. Thank you very much, UAEM Europe!
 To sum up, our executive board stays largely like it is at the moment. The European Coordinating Committee will be elected via a Pan-European online voting procedure (exactly, the one now..you can still register) and will focus more on campaigns.
 
Additionally, there will be an Empowerment Committee composed of national representatives all over Europe. Their tasks will include monitoring needs and activities of members as well as providing education for members. We propose they should begin with their work by July. An annnouncement with a call for elections will follow soon.
 
Just in case you are curious, here’s the whole proposal to read.
 
Currently, we are in the process of evaluation and aim to work on a general report and a „lessons learnt“ document soon. This would reflect our working process and everything we have learned..Just think there were originally six proposals, three surveys, thirty-seven minutes before..
 
We are very excited about this upcoming UAEM year and wish the new board, European Coordinating Committee and European Empowerment Committee all the best for their new terms.

Best,

Chris, Andrea, Jesper, Andia, Tommi, Mila

Impressions from Freiburg flashmob

This week Monday, after long years of hard lobbying work, the Vice President of the University of Freiburg Prof. Dr. Gunther Neuhaus announced, the University will implement equitable licensing models in its guidelines for technology transfer in order to promote access to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics for all people. He also announced the implementation of regular meetings to enable transparency of the implementation of this objective.

 

This commitment is the result of many years of student involvement. There had been meetings and talkovers with the administration, but shortly before the ratification of their new licensing guidelines, the head office stopped cooperating. So, inspired by the European Conference in London, Freiburg’s UAEM decided to do a flashmob and demonstration in front of and inside the head offices.

Sunday evening:

4:00 pm: Last preparations are made. The living room is full of Cartons, markers and pill-costumes. You can feel tensions and excitement hanging in the air…. One more night and then… who knows…

Monday morning:

09:00 am: Sunshine! Phew, thank god. We were scared, the rain would ruin our costumes.

09:30 am: Emily and Nora arrive at the radio station for an interview about the goals of the flashmob that’s going to start in a few hours: in a combined team effort, the Freiburger, Baseler and Heidelberger Chapter want to put themselves out there and force the Freiburger University to take a stand.

10:00 am: That went well, OK now off to get the last things organized and pick up the Swiss at the train station.

11:00 am: Arrival at the Universtiy of Freiburg head masters office. The time has come, let the fun begin! After several people had “died” (fallen to the ground) of diseases like HIV/Aids, Hep C, Malaria and HPV infection because there were no affordable drugs available, an explanation about our cause was given through Megaphone. With whistles, posters and slogans such as “Mehr Transparenz für unsere Lizenz” ("More transparency for our license!") and “Keine Ausbeute, Medizin für Leute” ("No yield, medicine for people!") UAEM members and friends then demonstrated in front and inside of the administrative building.

 

During all of this happening: Completely surprising, the vice president appeared, together with the head of our TTO. He had been warned by the Uni’s press and facebook. They were prepared and had the wording of the segment about SRL with them, as well as the agreement to meet twice a year, to let us know what research has been going on and what licensing agreements had been done.

 

12:30 am: “WOW, this actually was a success?!?!?! OK, let’s get some food and tell the rest of the students what we achieved today! “ Said, done. Before getting the food so desperately needed, we started another flashmob at our canteen, which resulted in applause and a lot od interested people about what had happened today…

 

Without the persisting lobbying work of the Freiburger Chapter, this would have never even come this far. The flashmob/demonstration then gave them the final push to finally dedicate themselves (in front of the camera!!) to these things!

 

Apart from being a major success, this morning was a lot of fun and got us a lot of attention (also with other students). There’s also camera material, which will hopefully soon find its way to becoming a nice video! If you are inspired by this now and would like some more info on what we exactly did, don’t hesitate to contact us! freiburg@uaem.org

UAEM @ European IPPNW Conference, Berlin

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