WIPO Launches New Global Awards Program; Small and Medium Enterprises Are First Category

Geneva, December 15, 2021

WIPO today launched a new global awards program to recognize exceptional enterprises and individuals using intellectual property (IP) to make a positive impact at home and beyond their own borders.

The first WIPO Global Awards will be granted in July 2022 to five small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the initial category of awardees to be followed in subsequent years by other groups, like women and youth.


“SMEs are the largest business sector in many countries, and a vibrant and innovative SME sector is critical to future economic growth. At the same time, many SMEs that innovate are unaware how intellectual property can help them take their ideas to market, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

Through the WIPO Global Awards, we aim to recognize SMEs that are using IP to make a difference in the world, and can serve as a role model and inspiration to other entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Daren Tang

Mr. Tang hailed the awards program as part of the Organization’s commitment to build a more inclusive IP ecosystem: “WIPO will continue to find ways to bring the benefits of IP to the grassroots level, and for enterprises and entrepreneurs to tap on the power of IP to help their ideas become reality. More broadly, support for such enterprises will also help job creation, business growth and economic development.”

Any SME from any of WIPO’s 193 Member States may self-nominate for the award till March 14, 2022 [1].

A panel of seven judges with expertise in IP, innovation and business, and drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, will evaluate the candidates. They will use a range of criteria, including the successful commercialization of IP and its positive impact on economy, society or culture, while considering the diversity of the contenders and their locations.

The panel of judges will then select the winners, who will participate in an awards ceremony during the meetings of the WIPO Assemblies scheduled from July 15 to 22, 2022.

The winners will also receive a personalized mentorship program to help them to use IP for business growth, as well as other forms of support and sponsorship that will facilitate their access to funding and business growth.


1 Following World Bank guidelines, SMEs will be any enterprise with less than 300 employees and US$15 million in annual revenues.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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