WIPO Director General Takes Part in IP Week @ SG 2022, Outlines Bright Future for IP-backed Innovation in spite of Current Global Challenges

September 6, 2022

In spite of the economic turmoil resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and other global challenges, innovation and intellectual property backed activities have continued to grow – this was WIPO Director General Daren Tang’s message to participants at Singapore’s IP Week @ SG 2022 (Sept 5 to 7, 2022).

In keynote remarks PDF, DG keynote remarks to IP Week @ SG 2022 at the Global Forum on Intellectual Property on the theme: “Ideas to Assets: Charting our Future with IP,” Mr. Tang said international patent, trade mark and design applications filed through WIPO saw their highest levels last year. Key innovation metrics such as venture capital funding also reached new heights and has become more diverse, with the strongest growth seen in Africa and Latin America.

WIPO Director General Delivers Keynote Speech PDF, DG keynote remarks to IP Week @ SG 2022 at IP Week Singapore (photo: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)).

The Director General said the COVID-19 pandemic has been both a great disruptor and a potent accelerator of existing technology trends. He also cited the decades-long shift in the landscape of innovation. Today, seven in 10 IP filings originate from Asia, Africa and Latin America, up from 5 in 10 a decade ago.

“These fundamental and seismic changes mean that for WIPO, and the global IP community, our work cannot be business as usual. IP must now shift from a technical vertical of interest only to a handful of IP specialists, to become a horizontal catalyst for jobs, investments, business growth and, ultimately, economic and social development in all regions of the world.”

Speaking at a number of sessions during the annual event that is organized by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and brings together IP thought leaders, legal experts and innovative enterprises, Mr. Tang encouraged delegates to forge new partnerships and engage and work across industries and professions.

“As IP continues to move from the periphery to the center of economies around the world, demand for our services, expertise and support will grow. At the same time, we will face the challenge of scale. To overcome this, we must forge partnerships and engage and work across industries and professions, helping to build IP as a bridge that connects all the different elements in an innovation ecosystem for the movement of ideas to the market,” he said.

One example he cited is a new initiative between WIPO and IPOS called MINT – or Mentorship for Intangible Asset Transformation – that will assist a cohort of intangible rich startups and SMEs on their innovation journey through one-to-one expert advice and tailor-made business support.

The Director General said that even in the face of continued uncertainty, we must pursue our effort to build a more inclusive global IP ecosystem. “This is therefore the time for us to renew our shared commitment to strengthening the global IP ecosystem, bringing IP closer to communities and giving intangible assets, tangible value, so that IP and innovation remain powerful catalysts for future growth, development and prosperity in Singapore, ASEAN and the world.”

In addition, Mr. Tang took part in a panel where three in-depth WIPO studies were presented that analyze the factors that have contributed to the rise of innovation ecosystems in Sao Paulo, Shenzhen and Singapore.

At IP Week, the Director General also presented this year’s WIPO-IPOS IP for Innovation Awards to local firms including DBS Bank, Flexxon, MatchMovePay and Vivo Surgical who are leveraging their IP to innovate, transform and grow their business.

WIPO-IPOS IP for Innovation Awards 2022 (photo: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)).

In the week preceding IP Week, the Director General met with top Singaporean officials. Intellectual property continues to play an important role in Singapore's success, both as a driver of domestic growth and as one of the key factors attracting companies, talent and capital from all regions of the globe.

In a meeting with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Lawrence Wong, Mr. Tang discussed the importance of bringing IP closer to innovators and creators on the ground and explored how WIPO and Singapore can work together to progress emerging IP issues, including unlocking IP as an asset to help entrepreneurs to access financing.

WIPO Director General Meets With Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister (photo: Singapore Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization and The World Intellectual Property Organization).
WIPO Director General Meets With Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs (photo: Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Singapore).
WIPO Director General Meets With Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law (photo: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)).

With the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr. Tang discussed global developments and how they are impacting UN agencies, as well as what WIPO is doing to help all its Member States harness IP for development, including in the dynamic and fast growing ASEAN region, now home to 680 million people.

IP trends in areas such as AI, biotech, climate change technology featured in discussions with the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, Mr. Edwin Tong.

On August 24, 2022, Mr. Tang signed a memorandum of understanding with Mr. Lennon Tan, President of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and Ms. Audrey Yap, Chairperson of the Singapore Innovation & Productivity Institute. Under the agreement, the three organizations will work together to select an initial batch of 57 Singaporean Manufacturing Federation members to pilot WIPO’s Intellectual Property for Business tools and materials.

WIPO Director General Signs Agreement with Singapore’s Manufacturing Sector (photo: Singapore Manufacturing Federation).

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