Intellectual property development and protection is a global enterprise, and more and more countries are viewing IP as a critical asset to their economies. Global buy-in on the importance of IP is moving governments to incentivize inventors to find cutting-edge solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

As countries prioritize intellectual property development, the value of collaboration is becoming increasingly evident, and engagement in the IP landscape is making cross-border cooperation easier. September’s BOAO Forum for Asia in Seattle, where IV founder and CTO Edward Jung spoke about the global benefits from Asia’s invention boom, offered one such opportunity to learn from executives and innovators from Asia and hear about ways they are approaching the world’s most challenging problems. 

Prioritizing invention—and strengthening the IP marketplace—also increases the number of people globally who can devote time to addressing systemic issues facing the developing world. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently released a study identifying the “top-50 critical scientific and technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development,” which highlighted innovations in desalination technology, smartphones, education resources, energy sources, and fertilizers, among others.

New approaches to incentivizing innovation will help the world address these issues while simultaneously improving the economic climate for inventors globally. Some examples of these approaches include: 

  • China has instituted a number of new ideas, including opening IP exchanges to help companies buy and sell IP rights and setting up a government venture capital fund worth $6.5 billion to support start-ups in emerging industries. 
  • The United Kingdom implemented the Science and Innovation Strategy to set priorities for investment well into the next decade and  to underscore principles to guide science and innovation policy. 
  • The Malaysian government started a program to allow companies to use their IP rights as collateral for loans to further develop ideas. 
  • Nigeria’s National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion aims to strengthen domestic expertise in technology development, encouraging local inventors to convert their ideas into IP, as well as establishing technology transfer hubs at the country’s universities.
  • The European Union kicked off Horizon 2020, a framework “providing the money, motivation and muscle to keep Europe at the forefront of knowledge, and turn good ideas into innovation.” Horizon 2020 uses a challenge-based approach to make Europe a “magnet for innovation.”
  • Southeast Asian nations collaborated to establish best practices in IP management and protection. In July, IP office leaders at ASEAN announced new collaborative initiatives to encourage new inventions and help companies maximize the return of their IP assets. 
  • The UAE announced a 7 point plan with Dh4.1 billion in funding to promote innovation by improving STEM education and offering invention challenges. 

As governments strengthen IP rights and encourage innovation, they also broaden the private sector’s ability to access a global network of patents and inventors. The spate of innovation initiatives described above also offer governments opportunities to adopt new best practices on methods to foster intellectual property development. At Intellectual Ventures, we support countries’ efforts to strengthen their IP systems and look forward to future partnership opportunities around the globe.

Check out IV’s blog about the BOAO forum to learn more about what industry leaders are discussing about IP in the global landscape.


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