Director General Visits Sweden; Addresses Conference on Deep Tech

June 2, 2023

On June 2, 2023, WIPO Director General Daren Tang wrapped up a three-day visit to Sweden, where he met senior Government officials and opened a conference on Deep Tech Entrepreneurship for an Innovative, Resilient, and Competitive Internal Market, organized by the Swedish EU Presidency.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang addresses participants at the Conference on Deep Tech Entrepreneurship for an Innovative, Resilient, and Competitive Internal Market in Stockholm (photo: Government of Sweden/Stefan Ek).

In a keynote speech, Mr. Tang highlighted the important role of Sweden and Europe in building a more inclusive IP ecosystem that can support all players involved – from start-ups, SMEs, universities, polytechnics, R&D institutes and big companies - to harness the power of IP to bring ideas to the market.

The EU is a powerful incubator of talent, where over 2 million researchers are working across science, industry and government.

And we must not forget that Europe birthed the modern IP ecosystem, when countries in the region negotiated the foundational agreements for the globalization of IP 150 years ago.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang

Ms. Ebba Busch, Minister for Energy, Business and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister and Ms. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age,” and Commissioner for Competition, also spoke at the Conference.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang with Ebba Busch, Sweden's Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, and Deputy Prime Minister, on the sidelines of the Conference on Deep Tech Entrepreneurship for an Innovative, Resilient, and Competitive Internal Market in Stockholm (photo: Government of Sweden/Stefan Ek).

Mr. Tang also participated in the launch of the European Innovation Council Prize for Women Innovators 2023, to recognize and celebrate women innovators and their important contribution as role models for future generations like Ms. Catherine Schreiber, co-founder of MedTech company ADVITOS, Winner of the EIT’s Women Leadership Award 2022, and EIC Women Leadership Programme.

Mr. Tang said a priority is to close the gender gap for everyone connected to science, technology and innovation.  In Europe, women's participation in patenting stands at a modest 14 percent and 12 percent in Sweden compared to 15 percent in North America, 17 percent in Asia and 21 percent in Latin America.  The Director General said WIPO’s action plan on gender aims at closing the gender gap.

At WIPO, we have published IP GAP, our gender action plan.

This is a critical component of our work in support of a more inclusive IP ecosystem; one that is much closer and connected not just to women, but also to youth, startups, small and medium enterprises, researchers and others underserved by IP in the past.

We'd welcome further initiatives with our European partners nationally and regionally, to move the dial and strengthen women’s participation across IP and innovation ecosystems.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang

Bilateral Meetings

Mr. Tang met with Ms. Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, State Secretary to the Minister of Culture and officials from the ministries of Justice, Culture and Climate and Enterprise.  The Director General and State Secretary shared a joint vision: to connect IP to the youth and to the new generation of creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and policy makers. Mr. Tang emphasized Sweden’s great role as an engine for all types of creativity and the full range of creative industries.

During his meeting with Mr. Håkan Jevrell, State Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, the Director General discussed Sweden’s strategy for future growth and economic development. Sweden consistently ranks among the world's most-innovative economies, as well as #1 most innovative country in the EU in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index.

The Director General welcomed the entry into force of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court after decades of negotiations. These aim at simplifying and streamlining patent law throughout Europe.  Mr. Tang joined the Minister of Justice Gunnar Strömmer, the President of the UPC Court of Appeal, Judge Klaus Grabinski, EPO President Antonio Campinos and others to celebrate this momentous occasion, a milestone day for IP in the EU. 

Mr. Tang also visited the Ericsson campus, home of 105,500 employees and one of the highest R&D budgets in the world. He also held meetings at Spotify, the first platform of its kind, creating a bridge between creators, technology and law, complementing Sweden’s global music industry with a global music provider.

The Director General visited the ABBA museum, where ABBA’s collected works are showcased in a contemporary, interactive setting. He spoke about WIPO’s new flagship initiative WIPO for Creators –a new platform to be launched this autumn, with content delivered by creators for creators, helping other creators to learn about their rights. This initiative has a strong Swedish connection - key partners are the Stockholm-based Music Rights Awareness Foundation and ABBA star Björn Ulvaeus, Max Martin and Niclas Molinder. Moreover, in meetings with Government officials, the Director General urged Sweden to play an active role in this initiative.

The visit highlighted the importance of IP to the creative process, and how critical it is for the development of a country’s music, entertainment industry and its creative economy.

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