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The Technology Managers for Global Health (TMGH) was formed in 2003 to raise awareness about global health disparities and highlight opportunities for individual academic technology managers to explore practical ways to extend the impact of their professional work.
Global health technology transfer presents a challenging and complex environment, particularly with regard to invention and intellectual property management issues. The annual meetings of TMGH have been held since 2004 as a "Special Interest Group" of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) at the AUTM Annual Meeting. I am very grateful to those within MIHR and AUTM who encouraged me to form TMGH. I am also grateful for the financial support-received for the mobilization of TMGH volunteers and development of new training curricula-from the Rockefeller Foundation (2004-2006), the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (2005-2006), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2006).
Global health technology transfer is an evolving area, which can only benefit from the experience and expertise of a diverse body of professionals. As new discoveries and inventions arise, academic technology managers have to keep joining forces with others inside and outside of their own institutions to together identify, develop and implement new and creative strategies to promote global health equity. We also need to garner additional resources for professional training and development, including appropriate infrastructure and networking that supports our individual and collective efforts in these fields. There is a growing need for a cadre of well-trained and well-connected innovators to advance both technological and social innovations for greater societal benefit, particularly when certain scientific advances-such as vaccines for neglected diseases afflicting millions of poorer populations-may make for great societal impacts but not produce enormous financial returns. This journey of "advancing global good" has greatly broadened the contexts and connections born initially through TMGH.
My own efforts with TMGH offered me perhaps some of life's best lessons. Through TMGH, I discovered an enabling and empowering platform to reach out to find-and join up with-other passionate and action-oriented colleagues in so many sectors and in so many disciplines. The special energy of this collective momentum spurred me to explore new ways of linking, thinking, doing, and bridging among professionals and academics. It led me to founding a global nonprofit organization called CARTHA in 2006. CARTHA now supports the ongoing work of TMGH. If you are interested in learning more about our activities or supporting them in any way, please contact me. Likewise, I would love to learn about the nature of your interests in these fields. Please feel free to call me or email me. If you plan to be at any of our gatherings, I look forward to meeting you or seeing you again!
I hope you find these few pages on TMGH and its story inspiring to you in unique ways. To allow the gifts of science and research to be eventually translated in a way that actually improves the lives of the underprivileged, we, as trained professionals, can do so only by taking a broader, longer term view of the impacts from our work today. However, this requires us to connect with those who might help us today to maintain our resilience and resolve to make a bigger difference throughout our professional lives. Regardless of what you are currently involved in, please know that there are those colleagues and friends and kindred spirits out there who care deeply about these topics and also recognize the practical professional and personal dilemmas that arise when one aspires to "change the world"! So, please keep up your collaborative spirit alive!
Founder and Chair, CARTHA