Director General Tang Hails WIPO’s Cooperation with Islamic Development Bank at Virtual Seminar

January 18, 2021

Director General Daren Tang opened a virtual seminar co-hosted with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) by underlining WIPO’s ongoing support for the Bank’s efforts to promote science, technology and innovation, including the establishment of 443 Technology and Innovation Support Centers and over 150 activities for universities and SMEs in its member states in past three years.

Mr. Tang was joined by IsDB President Bandar Hajjar in opening the January 18, 2021 webinar on the theme “Towards Building a Stronger Innovation Ecosystem by Enhancing Intellectual Property.” The Ministers of Research and Technology/National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia and the Minister Science and Technology of the Federal Republic of Nigeria participated in the webinar, which saw the saw participation of 174 persons from different regions of the world.

“The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated the importance of technology and innovation. More than ever, innovation has become a central driver of economic growth and sustainable development. Young entrepreneurs, local and indigenous communities, small and medium enterprises are playing an important role in our economies,” said Mr. Tang in his opening comments.

“Irrespective of their levels of development, countries are adopting new, or improving, existing innovation policy frameworks.  WIPO, for its part, is building an inclusive global IP ecosystem, where all stakeholders in our global innovation community can participate in, and benefit from it,” said Mr. Tang.

Mr. Tang outlined WIPO’s projects and programs targeted at strengthening innovation capacities. These include joint capacity building projects for the academic and private sectors in a number of Arab countries in 2020 to enhance collaboration between universities and industry in the region as well as Enabling Innovation Environment (EIE) projects on brands and designs in some member states.

The Director General also informed the participants of the establishment the new IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector at WIPO. The Sector will support member states in developing their intellectual property (IP) and innovation ecosystems to drive enterprise growth, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). 

“We have noted with great interest the efforts made by the Bank to advance Science, Technology and Innovation across its 57 member countries. Through the implementation of our partnership, we will help our youths, our entrepreneurs, to transform their inventions and their creative works into commercial assets. This will greatly contribute to the economic growth and sustainable development of their countries,” said Mr. Tang.

“The recently updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between our two organizations will, I am sure, strengthen out this partnership and enable us to undertake a wider range of programs to promote innovation,” Mr. Tang added.

Assistant Director General Marco Aleman, who is responsible for the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, spoke on enhancing IP in innovation ecosystems. He noted that as an economic tool, IP enhances enterprise competitiveness, promotes foreign investments and directs funding based on society’s most important needs

The main goal for the newly established sector will be the development of long-term sustainable support for the use of IP as an economic tool. In his closing remarks, Mr. Aleman shared some ideas for future cooperation between the IsDB and WIPO, such as the establishment of Technology Transfer Hubs in the IsDB member states and joining forces for the development of mechanisms for the use of IP as an Asset Class.

During the course of discussions, several speakers underlined the importance of strengthening international cooperation to ensure a more effective implementation of innovation-based projects. They spoke of the need to support start-ups and SMEs and encourage them to greater use of the global IP system, to improve the financing of innovation through IP-backed finance and to encourage and financially support younger generations in their inventive and creative efforts

The webinar was an occasion for both institutions to renew engagement for strengthening the innovation ecosystems in IsDB’s member states and to identify measures to help Youth and SMEs to use IP to grow and develop their business.