Tech Scouting
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the selection process?

FIND selects partners and technologies through a systematic process that begins when submission for a solution is received. For basic collaborations, FIND performs an Initial Analysis. For strategic partnerships that typically lead to a project, FIND performs a follow-up In-depth Analysis.

The process is designed to be an objective, independent and transparent way to ensure that the most suitable technologies are supported and potential conflicts of interest are avoided. The selection process is described in detail in our Technology and Partner Selection Guidelines and the way FIND works with private sector partners in our Policy & Guidelines for Working with Private Sector Partners.

Who should submit a solution?

FIND seeks to partner with stakeholders involved in research and development of new diagnostic solutions, technologies and biomarkers, including:

  • IVD companies
  • Academic groups
  • Other groups that are actively involved in R&D work

How can I submit a solution?

Any party interested in submitting a technology, biomarker or product proposal should use our submission webform.

What type of solution should be submitted?

FIND scouts for innovative, new diagnostic solutions, technologies and biomarkers in our priority disease areas: tuberculosis, malaria, fever-AMR-outbreaks, hepatitis C, HIV, and neglected tropical diseases. In particular, we seek diagnostics that meet specific, priority needs described by target product profiles and platform technologies that can be used across several diseases. Typically, FIND is interested in diagnostic solutions that can be commercialized in 3-5 years or less.

What are success factors for a submission?

A submission that results in a fruitful collaboration consists of (i) a technology capable of responding in a timely manner to an unmet need described in a target product profile; (ii) a partner with a strong team having the resources to deliver the solution alone or in a consortium; and (iii) a proposal that clearly describes the envisaged collaboration and  addresses one of FIND’s strategic priorities.

What are the outcomes of an Initial Analysis?

All submissions will receive a response. Potential responses to a submission include:

  • Suitable for a potential collaboration and cleared to proceed to In-depth Analysis of the submission
  • Access to basic FIND resources (such as specimens or reagents; feasibility study, etc.)
  • No active collaboration identified yet but some advice is provided to catalyse further development (Maintain/Observe)
  • In need of more information from the submitter
  • Out of scope

What types of collaboration can I expect?

After the Initial Analysis, FIND can provide basic support in the form of:

  • Access to reagents
  • Access to specimens
  • Small feasibility studies
  • Diagnostic connectivity guidance

After the In-depth Analysis, FIND will partner on:

  • Clinical validation studies
  • Data collection for WHO approval or regulatory filing
  • Product Development Partnerships (typically strategic collaborations with the goal to develop diagnostic solutions)
  • Implementation support (implementation of a diagnostic product in resource-restricted settings, post-regulatory or post-WHO approval, see Tools & Support for Implementers & Policymakers

What does an Initial Analysis evaluate?

  • Affordability (cost per test and instrument)
  • Performance (analytical and diagnostic performance, throughput, time-to-result, hands-on-time, etc.)
  • Usability (system integration, infrastructural requirements, environmental stability, ease of use, etc.)
  • Fit with FIND strategy
  • Probability of success (strength of data, team, company resources, technology maturity and time to market)

What does an In-depth Analysis evaluate?

The In-depth Analysis assesses comprehensively the strength of the partnership opportunity. This includes:

  • Updated technology status and performance data
  • A detailed assessment of the product or technology concept, including basic market and competitive analysis
  • A detailed risk assessment
  • A partner due diligence (financial, management team, track record)
  • A detailed assessment of fit with FIND’s portfolio and strategy

When is an In-depth Analysis required?

An In-depth  Analysis is mandatory for the following cases:

  • FIND support of product development requiring a commitment of >USD 200,000, in cash or in-kind
  • A strategic partnership that commits resources to FIND of >USD 50,000 in cash or in-kind
  • An independent clinical validation study of a prototype or product that involves >300 patients
  • A project that includes data collection for WHO Pre-Qualification, a WHO policy recommendation, or for submission of a technical file to a recognized regulatory authority
  • FIND support of an implementation project requiring a commitment of >USD 200,000 (i.e., for products that are post-regulatory or post-WHO approved)

Who will review my submission?

The FIND Technology Team coordinates the overall process and works closely with the FIND staff.

The Initial Analysis is carried out by at least two FIND staff members (usually one technology and one disease expert), using a standardized template, and is reviewed and approved by the appropriate programme head.

The In-depth Analysis is carried out by one member of FIND, whose analysis is reviewed and approved by the disease programme head and at least one member of the FIND Senior Management Team. Finally, two members of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) review the partnership opportunity and make a recommendation. The SAC chair overlooks the reviewing process and can include other external reviewers, if appropriate.

When will I receive an answer?

We will acknowledge a submission within three days of its receipt. A more detailed reply after completing the Initial Analysis will typically be sent within eight weeks from the time of submission.

The In-depth Analysis will usually occur within two to three months, depending on the complexity of the partnership opportunity. The submitter will be informed about the conclusions shortly after the final decision has taken place.

What is FIND's policy on conflicts of interest?

Any and all potential conflicts of interest (of reviewers and members of the Scientific Advisory Committee) are to be declared via FIND’s COI and Confidentiality Agreement. External reviewers from the Scientific Advisory Committee will recuse in instances where a possible conflict has been identified. External reviewers have the option to declare conflicting interests for every review separately.

 

Does FIND keep records of my submission?

Yes, we archive all submissions in an internal database.

Will FIND keep information confidential?

FIND treats every submission as confidential and uses information only for the evaluation and determination (in FIND’s sole discretion) of the merit of the partnership opportunity. We usually sign confidentiality agreements prior to the In-depth Analysis.

What is FIND expecting from partners?

FIND is committed to ensuring global access. We expect our partners to commit to making products and information, generated through partnership, available at an affordable price, in sufficient volume, at a level of quality, and in a time frame that benefits people in lower- and middle-income countries. Further information on global access can be found here.

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