ICUDDR Launches International Technology Transfer Center Network

International Technology Transfer Center (ITTC)

In conjunction with the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) network coordinating office at the University of Missouri Kansas City, and with partial support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) has launched an international network of technology transfer centers (ITTCs). The ITTC network is designed to mirror the ATTC model of technology transfer, where training is only one element of the process of moving science into practice. The ITTCs will conduct a standardized needs assessment and develop a training and technical assistance plan that furthers each country’s alcohol and drug demand-reduction efforts.

INL is funding three of the former President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) ATTCs in South Africa, Ukraine, and Vietnam, to broaden their perspective to cover prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug use problems without the primary focus on HIV. Two new countries, Peru and Colombia, also will receive start-up funds from INL. The National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) of the United Arab Emirates is among the research organizations and universities in additional countries that are in the process of negotiating self-funded participation in the ITTC network.

NRC hosted the network’s launch event on February 24, with remarks from NRC Executive Director His Excellency Hamad Al Ghafri, Ph.D. Dean Fixsen, Ph.D., of the Active Implementation Research Network and an expert in implementation science, gave a keynote address on the processes of implementing purposeful, effective, and sustainable innovations. The directors of the three active ITTC networks briefly described their local activities: Goodman Sibeko, M.D., Ph.D., South Africa; Irina Pinchuk, M.D., Ph.D., Ukraine; and Le Minh Giang, M.D., Ph.D., Vietnam.

NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., discussed the importance of communications and networks like the ITTC to make progress in adopting evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions. Dr. Gust also encouraged participants to consider the NIDA International Program fellowships as training opportunities for ITTC staff and colleagues. Other speakers included Kimberly Johnson, Ph.D., ICUDDR Executive Director; Brian Morales, M.A., Counternarcotics Branch Chief, U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; Nathalie Panabokke, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme; and Laurie Krom, M.S., Director, ITTC Network Coordinating Office. The virtual launch attracted more than 200 participants from 65 countries.

Learn more about the ITTC Network.