In April 2012 in Cape Town, a range of actors, leaders and influencers came together for Forum 2012 and made a clear case for considerations concerning – research and innovation for – health within the context of ‘beyond aid’. The Forum made it clear that by focusing on building research and innovation systems in low and middle-income countries, a pathway to sustainable, long-term, country owned development could be secured.
The Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) is ready to take this discussion to the next stage. If research and innovation are critical for development, then how can they be sustainably financed and supported? Investment is regarded as one of the fundamental pillars of achieving research and innovation for health – and during times of economic instability, this becomes even more difficult to sustain.
For any research to be undertaken, investment of some form is required – not only in research activities, but also in management, administration and training. For innovation to occur and for the outputs of that research to reach the people who will benefit, still further investment is required.
The benefits of investing in research and innovation for health need not be limited to greater health and equity: a healthy population results in a flourishing economy, which is still further bolstered when those people enjoy equality of opportunity. To complete this virtuous circle, a healthy, flourishing economy is then better able to secure a healthy and potentially equitable population.
To address this pressing question, COHRED is collaborating with the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health to bring you our third COHRED Colloquium. This meeting, to be held on the 26th and 27th of March 2013 at the International Conference Centre of Geneva (ICCG) CICG will take a look through an economic lens at the investments in health research that are required to meet the needs of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Over the two days of this meeting, participants will use their experience to identify what some of the truly valuable investments in research and development have been, and use their imaginations to judge where future investments must go if we are to make the most significant progress against mortality in LMICs.
For this meeting, which happens to coincide with the 20th anniversaries of COHRED and the World Development Report of 1993: Investing in Health, we are bringing together an influential group of people with the desire and the ability to make a difference in supporting sustainable investments in research and innovation for health.
Critically, we will work to encourage open input and debate amongst all participants. This will be a genuine opportunity for participants to have their voices heard amongst their peers, and to help shape the research investment agenda of the coming decades.
I look forward to what promises to be an exciting and energising meet.