WIPO Director General Wraps Up Official Visit to Portugal
June 24, 2022
WIPO Director General Daren Tang concluded a three-day visit to Portugal on June 24, 2022 where he met top government officials, innovators and academics and noted the extent that innovation, technology and intellectual property (IP) are at the heart of the country’s development journey.
“There is no doubt that Portugal has embarked on a new age of discovery - one centered on innovation, technology and IP,” said Mr. Tang, noting “the main themes that emerged from my meetings with Ministers and leaders from across industry and academia are: the need to build a more inclusive and balanced IP ecosystem, support for green innovation and closer collaboration within the Lusophone community.”
During the visit, Mr. Tang met with the Minister of Justice, Ms. Catarina Sarmento e Castro, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Ms. Elvira Fortunato, State Secretary for Internationalization, Mr. Bernardo Ivo Cruz, Secretary General of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Mr. Zacarias da Costa and Ms. Ana Bandeira, President of the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property.
The Director General also discussed the dynamics and prospects of Portuguese innovation ecosystems. With Mr. Daniel Traça, Dean of NOVA School of Business & Economics Management talks focused on the diverse ways in which business and academia interplay and build synergies. Mr. Jorge Portugal, CEO of COTEC and Mr. Tang examined the financing of SMEs and the collateralization and valuation of intangible assets.
Mr. Tang welcomed the clear commitment of all Portuguese stakeholders to place IP at the center of their strategies. In our conversations, we identified several areas in which WIPO and Portugal could enhance their collaboration and synergies.
Mr. Tang committed to support Portugal in its work to increase the inclusivity and balance of the IP ecosystem. Greater participation of SMEs, women, youth and rural and indigenous communities will lead to an IP ecosystem that addresses societal concerns while furthering economic development and productivity. Portugal is enhancing the role of IP in SMEs. There was agreement to explore new areas of collaboration in business training, awareness raising, access to finance, anti-counterfeiting and the development of skills for IP entrepreneurs.
As one of Europe's greenest countries and with an exploding renewables patent portfolio, Portugal is an ideal partner for boosting clean tech and innovation and promoting the role of IP in sustainable development. In the meeting with Minister Fortunato, Mr. Tang encouraged Portuguese stakeholders to become more involved with WIPO GREEN, an online platform for technology exchange that addresses climate change by connecting providers and seekers of environmentally friendly technologies.
Mr. Tang wrapped up his official visit to Portugal in Porto where he visited the “Instituto dos Vinhos do Porto e do Douro”, to see first-hand how geographical indications (GIs) have helped to generate wealth for the Douro communities and increase the excellence of its products. The Heads of IP offices of the Lusophone countries - some of which have consolidated GI systems, like Portugal and Brazil – also joined the visit to Porto. Others have recently developed their GI systems and significant results are now being seen in countries like Cabo Verde with its Vinho do Fogo, Mozambique with its Cabrito de Tete and Sao Tome and Principe with its Cacau de Sao Tome.
During his stay in Lisbon, Mr. Tang also attended the first Industrial Property Conference of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). He told participants that WIPO is ready to explore synergies with all Lusophone countries in addressing concrete projects with practical results. The cultural and linguistic linkages in the Lusophony could serve to amplify and multiply the individual efforts of its members for the benefit of all. The New Age of Discovery finds in CPLP an increasingly skillful and ambitious navigator.