WIPO Director General Tang Visits Switzerland’s Capital, Bern
July 5, 2022
BERN – WIPO Director General Daren Tang met senior government officials in the Swiss capital, where he discussed issues ranging from WIPO’s normative agenda to the importance of bringing intellectual property (IP) closer to the ground to people everywhere.
At the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), Mr. Tang was welcomed by a team headed by Director General Catherine Chammartin and Deputy Director General Felix Addor. In addition to WIPO’s normative agenda and bringing alive WIPO’s vision of a world where innovation and creativity from anywhere is supported by IP for the good of everyone, they discussed how to use IP to address global challenges like climate change and cutting edge issues around IP and artificial intelligence.
The Director General also met with Ambassador Frank Grütter, Head of the U.N. Division, and Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the U.N. and other International Organizations in Geneva, to discuss the work of international Geneva, and how to leverage Geneva’s unique position as a hub for UN agencies, IGOs and NGOs to better serve the world.
Swiss Government officials – including Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, Deputy State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs – expressed support for WIPO’s work to extend the IP system’s benefits, while focusing on impactful, concrete projects. The Director General and Mr. Matyassy agreed to work together to support the work of multilateral institutions and to bring alive WIPO’s vision of a world where IP is a powerful tool for growth and development in all countries.
A central theme to all discussions was Switzerland’s powerful innovation ecosystem and how other countries could replicate that successful model.
“Switzerland’s secret to innovation success is a combination of factors unique to the country but also worth consideration by others – the ability to balance competition at the Cantonal level with collaboration at the Federal level; the historically strong focus on education, technical training and research; and the desire as a small country in the midst of larger neighbors to be relevant to the region and the world,” Mr. Tang observed.
Mr. Tang agreed with Swiss officials to continue working with partners in Switzerland and abroad to reinforce WIPO’s traditional areas of strength, including the provision of high-quality international IP services, while advancing the Organization’s new areas of work.