Local production of COVID-19 vaccines: A collective capabilities approach
27 October 2021, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm
Join us to hear Prof. Padmashree Gehl Sampath talk about her ongoing research on the 'Local production of COVID-19 vaccines: a collective capabilities approach'. This talk will be chaired by IIPP’s Antonio Andreoni with a discussion from Els Toreele (IIPP). Followed by questions from the audience.
This event is free.
Several large initiatives and projects are currently underway to promote the local production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines in LMICs as a means to boost regional security and promote innovation. But the capacity to produce, while being a part and parcel of the overall capacity to innovate, is often not sufficient to promote linkages and build long term capabilities that can sustain competitive pharmaceutical sectors. No doubt, the knowledge base of firms grows on the basis of routine learning-by-doing where the individual capabilities of engineers and scientists are largely tacit. But a firm cannot indefinitely rely on its own internal capabilities developed at a particular time without the periodic injection of new ideas, whether developed through internal R&D or acquired from external sources. The latter remains key for capabilities that enable innovation and transformation, and in a nutshell, remains the key distinguishing element for countries that started out with some local production and went on to build successful pharmaceutical sectors.
This seminar will discuss Prof. Padmashree's ongoing work on assessing the barriers and opportunities to move from production and tacit-know-how sharing for COVID-19 vaccines to overall capabilities building in the pharmaceutical sector through a case study of South Africa's mRNA hub that is currently being conceptualised. Building on a framework for analysis that is nested within evolutionary economics and the capability theory of the firm (that espouses how firms perform functions in accordance with their existing technical capabilities), this research looks at how production performance over time - in a dynamic sense - remains a collective undertaking, and relies on the development of collaborative linkages and collective competencies in the sector.
Background material linked to this seminar
Local Production of COVID 19 Vaccines: A Strategy for Action by Padmashree Gehl Sampath and Jon Pearman
About the Speaker
Prof. Padmashree Gehl Sampath
Senior Advisor, Global Access in Action Program and Fellow at Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University