The Knowledge Network on Innovation and Access to Medicines is a project of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. The project seeks to maximize the contributions of research and analysis to producing public health needs-driven innovation and globally-equitable access to medicines.


Free public webinar series presented by leading medicines policy researchers. The webinars aim to make recent, policy-relevant research more accessible to a global public audience and facilitate flows of knowledge between the research and policy & practice communities.

Upcoming webinar

Thursday 28 November | 4 pm - 5 pm CET 

Public funding of biomedical R&D: what role for public investment funds and financial markets?


Slavek Roller, Goethe University Frankfurt
Nadya Wells, Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of Geneva

The role of public funding in biomedical research and development (R&D) is a longstanding topic of interest both in the academic literature and in policy debates. The public contribution to basic science and early stages of research is well established, and more recent studies have also focused on public funding of later stages of the development process. The literature focuses on public funding of R&D through direct grants, tax incentives and the purchase of the end product by public health systems. This webinar aims to bring a new element to the debate: the role of public investment funds.

Contribute to improve and update this page!

Slavek Roller will present his recently published article investigating the role of pension and state funds in financing biomedical R&D in the complex financial architecture of modern drug development. He found that public investment funds in, for example, Canada, the European Union, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, hold significant shares in pharmaceutical companies.  He will describe how the source of investment does or does not influence decision-making regarding pricing and R&D priorities and implications for current debates on access to medicines and innovation. He will also offer proposals for a strengthened role for public investment fund boards in where and how they invest their money, to ensure public benefit from the results of the R&D that they fund.


Past webinars (recordings available on links)

October 2019 | Peter Yu, Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University; Yuanqiong Hu, Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

September 2019 | Reed Beall, University of Calgary; Mayra Vasquez,  National College of Pharmaceutical Chemists of Colombia; Miguel Cortes,  UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services)

June 2019 | Marg Ewen and Molly Lepeska, Health Action International

April 2019 | Ekaterina Cleary, Bentley University

March 2019 | Kiu Tay-Teo, World Health Organization

February 2019 | Carolina Gomez, INVIMA - Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (Colombia’s National Institute of Food and Drug Monitoring)

January 2019 | Fred Abbott, Florida State University College of Law


December 2018 | Sabine Vogler, Austrian Public Health Institute (GÖG)


November 2018 | Gavin Yamey, Duke University


October 2018 | Achal Prabhala, accessibsa: Innovation & Access to Medicines in India, Brazil & South Africa