On Thursday, January 21, 2016, Christian Bréchot, President of Institut Pasteur, attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the first time. He was invited to contribute to the ongoing discussion on innovative methods for the development and distribution of vaccines to combat emerging diseases.
This initiative followed on from a series of reports containing recommendations on how we can be better prepared to deal with future epidemic outbreaks of highly dangerous pathogens. It is also part of the response to the call for ideas for global action launched by WHO. Leaders of large research institutions, among them the NIH and the Institut Pasteur, the major financial supporters of research, such as the Wellcome trust, and industry suggested that a partnership should be set up to boost coordination and cooperation among key players in R&D so that new vaccines can be developed for high priority pathogens (particularly those identified by WHO)and other pathogens likely to cause outbreaks in the future. The WEF is a non-profit foundation that was set up in 1971 by Klaus M. Schwab, an economics professor based in Switzerland. It is known for its Annual Meeting in the Swiss town of Davos, attended by company directors, international political leaders, representatives of academia and NGOs, intellectuals, and journalists. Topics on the agenda include the most pressing issues facing the planet, particularly in the areas of health, the environment, international conflicts and poverty. The Forum also publishes economic reports and involves its members in a range of initiatives associated with specific industry sectors. The theme of this year's 46th WEF Annual Meeting was "Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution". Discussions focused on the best way to respond to the rapid technological developments that are disrupting virtually every industry in the global economy.
From Institut Pasteur (January 29, 2016)