Promotion, development and use of the Intellectual Property System for SMEs, Cultural Industries, Research and Development Centers and other Stakeholders
SMEs are the backbone of most economies regardless of the size of economy or the definition used to determine what constitutes and SME. In most countries few SMEs believe that it creates or uses IP. The first challenge is to get SMEs to begin thinking differently about IP, to begin to see that their products, processes, customer lists, etc. could have value within the definition of IP, as well as to understand that where they import and use technology that this have IP implications. There is the further challenge of encouraging a new mindset that is open to the role IP can play in supporting and expanding businesses, especially within the regional framework. Most of exports engaged is regional, SMEs need to have a clear understanding of how IP can be used to maximize their export potential.
Combined with meeting the challenge posed by SMEs there is the challenge of creating an economic climate in which human resources and knowledge are accorded high value and in which investment in Research and Development, in technology and in cultural endeavors is perceived as a wise investment. The region has to begin to look towards local development of new technologies, businesses, and value-added products and services, as it strives to put in place a solid foundation for technology transfer, increased trade opportunities and foreign investment and fostering greater links between these communities and SMEs.