Periodically, Innovation Council publishes analysis about current innovation and trade policy matters and developments. On this page you will find a selection of our published materials. We also post resources from our members, and other partners in the Resources section of this website.
Papers, slides, blogs and other IC publications
AI and the Bio-Pharmaceutical SectorClick to Learn More
AI and the Bio-Pharmaceutical Sector
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently hosted discussions about the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP). Mr. Corey Salsberg, a globally recognized attorney in the fields of IP and innovation law and policy, and Vice President and Global Head of IP Affairs for Novartis, was invited to take part in the second panel featuring Stories from Innovators – A Real Life Business View on AI Innovation. This note is based on his remarks, which provide examples from Novartis’ R&D and other activities to illustrate how AI can be applied to enhance bio-pharma innovation, along with the related IP implications.
Clich here to read more.
Bio-Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and R&D: One-pagerClick to Learn More
Bio-Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and R&D: One-pager
This Innovation Council one-paper illustrates the importance of policy coherence in the realm of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D. Specifically, it shows that investing in diversified, geographically dispersed sources of R&D and production can increase manufacturing capacity and strengthen health security by complementing existing pharmaceutical production chains, thus making them less vulnerable to future supply chain shocks. It shows that counterproductive trade measures, such as tariffs on the development and production of vaccines and other health technologies, can slow development, and that—especially in light of the experience of Covid-19—distributed manufacturing and R&D capabilities are particularly useful in the area of biopharmaceuticals.
Bio-Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and R&D: The Impact of Policy Coherence in Trade PolicyClick to Learn More
Bio-Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and R&D: The Impact of Policy Coherence in Trade Policy
This Innovation Council working paper illustrates the importance of policy coherence in the realm of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D. Specifically, it shows that investing in diversified, geographically dispersed sources of R&D and production can increase manufacturing capacity and strengthen health security by complementing existing pharmaceutical production chains, thus making them less vulnerable to future supply chain shocks. It shows that counterproductive trade measures, such as tariffs on the development and production of vaccines and other health technologies, can slow development, and that—especially in light of the experience of Covid-19—distributed manufacturing and R&D capabilities are particularly useful in the area of biopharmaceuticals.
Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regionsClick to Learn More
Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regions
The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.
Click here to see the transcript.
Brazilian Patent Law Changes to Patent TermClick to Learn More
Brazilian Patent Law Changes to Patent Term
Innovation Council is monitoring changes to the Brazilian Patent Law. The recent Supreme Court ruling, published on May 12, 2021, finding that the sole paragraph of Article 40 of the Brazilian IP Law, which granted a minimum patent term of 10 years from grant, was unconstitutional, has significant implications for patents related to pharmaceutical products and processes, as well as equipment and processes related to healthcare that were granted prior to May 12, 2021. Unlike all other patents granted prior to May 12, 2021, those excepted patents lose the benefit of a minimum patent term of 10 years from grant, and they will expire 20 years from their filing dates. All patents granted after May 12, 2021, will expire 20 years after their filing dates. Delays in the examination of patent applications and the grant of patents after more than 10 years from the filing dates will result in lesser terms of enforcement from those that were entitled to a minimum term of 10 years from grant.
Although the average pendency of patent applications is being steadily reduced by INPI, Brazilian patent applicants should take advantage of procedures implemented by INPI to accelerate the grant of patents and to maximize the term of enforcement of the patent. From an innovator perspective, the Brazilian legislature would do well to accelerate passage of the pending bill, which provides for extension of the patent term in the case of unreasonable delays in examination by INPI.
Engaging More Women in Academic Innovation: Findings and RecommendationsClick to Learn More
Engaging More Women in Academic Innovation: Findings and Recommendations
This paper by Qualcomm outlines key findings from qualitative and quantitative data obtained from 168 women involved in academic innovation. It puts forth a set of recommendations based on the survey feedback, follow-up interviews, and the collective experience of technology transfer professionals who work daily with academic innovators.
We trust these recommendations will provide valuable insights into concrete actions that can be taken to ensure systemic changes that will foster greater engagement of academic women and other under-represented populations in all stages of the innovation lifecycle.
Enhancing IP Management and Appropriation by Innovative SMEsClick to Learn More
Enhancing IP Management and Appropriation by Innovative SMEs
This one-pager by the Innovation Council explains the importance of sound IP management for SMEs, including complementary and hybrid strategies and recommendations for governments. To read more about innovative SMEs, click through the Innovation Council gallery for World IP Day 2021 here.
Gender and IP LiteratureClick to Learn More
Gender and IP Literature
Innovation Council has created a running list of resources on various issues related to Gender and IP, based on work by Morgan Schreur.
Click here to see the reading list.
HS codes relevant to inputs for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnosticsClick to Learn More
HS codes relevant to inputs for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics
Bio-pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing inputs include: chemical or biological reagents; equipment used in laboratories; microscope parts; equipment for manufacturing such as single-use bioreactors; and the full range of raw materials used for R&D and production of vaccines and other bio-pharmaceuticals, such as guanidine thiocyanate. Researchers use these tools to make scientific breakthroughs, and bio-pharmaceutical companies rely on them to discover, develop, validate, and manufacture lifesaving vaccines, drugs, and therapies – including those necessary to address COVID-19 and future global health crises.
Some countries impose tariffs on bio-pharmaceutical inputs, in some cases as high as 25%. This raises costs and makes it more difficult for fledgling producers to compete. Eliminating tariffs on bio-pharmaceutical inputs could help to resolve some of the current global distribution challenges for COVID-related products, thereby helping to make the global COVID-19 response more equitable, affordable, and sustainable.
Unilateral elimination of COVID-19 related tariffs would provide substantial benefits in terms of the short-term dissemination of pharmaceutical inputs and vaccines. Ultimately, however, tariff elimination should be made permanent and should cover a broader range of products. This would create legal certainty and predictability for actors along global value chains.
An appropriate vehicle for tariff elimination on inputs could be the WTO plurilateral agreement known as Zero for Zero, for which product coverage should be expanded to include the full range of COVID-19 bio-pharmaceutical inputs. In this respect, Innovation Council has developed a list of HS codes showing tariffs related to the inputs used for developing and producing COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. The list was developed in partnership with private sector actors in these value chains. A list of COVID-19 MFN product examples is available here.
Introducing Innovation Council All-Weather Roads EngineeringClick to Learn More
Introducing Innovation Council All-Weather Roads Engineering
Innovation Council’s newest member, All-Weather Roads Engineering based in South Africa, commercialises a novel asphalt–binding solution. Here, Emmanuel Mothabi, the company’s founder, shares insights about his company’s invention, impact, and challenges. Click here to read more.
IP Mentorship Modules: 1 – 4Click to Learn More
IP Mentorship Modules: 1 – 4
The Innovation Council has developed four IP mentoring pilot programme guides that mentors can use to provide support materials to their mentees for each of the four designated sessions for mentors and mentees.
The purpose of developing these materials is to test this methodology for supporting SMEs in developing an IP strategy. The IC would like as many people as possible to test this methodology and is grateful for feedback to determine if the guides are useful.
IP Protection for Artificial IntelligenceClick to Learn More
IP Protection for Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is rapidly evolving to provide accurate information and solutions to problems. AI solutions can be extremely useful in many fields of endeavor.
There are various components and aspects of such systems. Currently, there is some uncertainty – especially with respect to patent protection – as to how intellectual property (IP) rights can be used to protect those components along with the outputs of AI systems.
Click here to read more.
Key IP considerations for smaller enterprisesClick to Learn More
Key IP considerations for smaller enterprises
The Innovation Council team wrote an article that was published in the June issue of WIPO Magazine. The article, by Phil Wadsworth, with Jennifer Brant and Peter Brown, highlights key IP considerations for smaller companies. In particular, the article highlights the importance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of patents, trade secrets, copyright protections, and trademarks, as well as design rights, and discusses how these protections can facilitate collaboration, successful commercialization, and other beneficial outcomes for small businesses.
Policy approaches to close the intellectual property gender gapClick to Learn More
Policy approaches to close the intellectual property gender gap
Click here through Innovation Council’s presentation on “Policy approaches to close the intellectual property gender gap”. Innovation Council’s Jennifer Brant and Mark Schultz presented the findings on 29 July during the plenary session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Policy Approaches to close the IP Gender Gap: Practices to support access to the IP system for Female Innovators, Creators and EntrepreneursClick to Learn More
Policy Approaches to close the IP Gender Gap: Practices to support access to the IP system for Female Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs
This paper by the Innovation Council team focuses on policy approaches to close the gender IP gap. Research indicates that women are not participating in the IP system at the same rates as men, and that the relative deficit in access to the intellectual property (IP) system by women is present across all forms of IP rights. Solving this problem has the potential to greatly benefit individual women and businesses, as well as societies at large. At the individual level, increasing women’s access to the IP system can have such benefits as increased pay, better professional opportunities, and increased visibility within their fields. In terms of the societal level, one study has estimated that closing the gender gap with regard to patents could increase a nation’s GDP by 2.7 per cent.
Q&A with Innovation Council member BiovacClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Biovac
Innovation Council sat down with Patrick Tippoo, the Head of Science and Innovation at The Biovac Institute in South Africa to learn more about its activities and innovations. Established in 2003 in Cape Town, Biovac was created to distribute, manufacture, and develop vaccines and biologics for Southern Africa. Patrick, who has been with Biovac since its establishment, has more than 30 years in the industry.
Q&A with Innovation Council member Fontis Organic SkinfoodClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Fontis Organic Skinfood
Innovation Council sat down with Denise Bierman, the Founder and CEO of Fontis Organic Skinfood, a premium high performance botanical skinfood brand, to talk about the beginnings of her company and what made it successful.
Q&A with Innovation Council member KinnosClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Kinnos
Innovation Council welcomes its newest member: US-based innovative SME Kinnos. Kinnos pioneers color technology that revolutionizes how we use disinfectants. The company’s flagship product, Highlight®, is a patented and award-winning color additive platform that improves disinfection techniques and compliance. Highlight’s real-time color visualization has been reported in independent studies and whitepapers to consistently increase the thoroughness of cleaning. Recognized by Harvard Innovations Lab, Forbes, Newsweek, USAID, the USPTO Humanity Award, the WHO, and more, Highlight® is used internationally by hospitals, first responders, and transit agencies.
Q&A with Innovation Council member MedixusClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Medixus
Innovation Council sat down with Nicole Kayode, Founder and CEO of Medixus to talk about her passion for health and social impact tech. She created a communication, collaboration and learning platform for doctors aimed at improving case management and clinical practice. Medixus believes that quality patient care relies on smooth communication between healthcare professionals, and access to resources that will further their development.
Q&A with Innovation Council Member Sawubona MyceliumClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council Member Sawubona Mycelium
Innovation Council sat down with Neo Moloi, Co-Founder of the innovative South African SME Sawubona Mycelium, to learn more about his company’s fermentation platform for producing bio–based ingredients for cosmetics, biopharma, and food. Sawubona Mycelium, a founding member of Innovation Council, is looking to expand into new sectors and markets in the coming years. Read more about their technology solution and journey here.
Q&A with Innovation Council member Shiok MeatsClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Shiok Meats
Innovation Council sat down with Ka Yi Ling, the CTO and Co-Founder of Shiok Meats, a cell-based meat and seafood company in Singapore. An early member of Innovation Council, the company produces delicious and nutritious meats that are at the same time animal-, health- and environment-friendly. A recent tasting event in Singapore confirmed the appeal of the Shiok Meat crustacean meat products to discerning palates.
Q&A with Innovation Council member TechInventionClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member TechInvention
Innovation Council brings together diverse innovators to share their experiences with policymakers and other stakeholders. TechInvention Lifecare PvT Ltd, was founded in 2016 with the objective of increasing the supply of Vaccines and Bio-Therapeutics for low and middle-income countries (LMICs), is an Innovation Council member based in India. Here, in his own words, Syed Ahmed, the company’s CEO, shares insights about his company’s activities, challenges, and successes in recent years.
Q&A with Innovation Council member Villgro AfricaClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council member Villgro Africa
Innovation Council sat down with Wilfred Njagi, Co-Founder and CEO of Villgro Africa to learn more about the success story and lessons learned. The healthcare business incubator has a demonstrated track record having incubated over 30 healthcare innovators in East Africa that have gone on to increase access to affordable, superior quality healthcare in E. Africa touching over 2 million lives in the last 5 years.
Q&A with Innovation Council members Wetility & Renewables in AfricaClick to Learn More
Q&A with Innovation Council members Wetility & Renewables in Africa
Innovation Council sat down with Vincent Maposa, the Founder and CEO of Wetility and Tony Tiyou, the Founder and CEO of Renewables in Africa, to talk about the beginnings of their companies and what made them successful.
Wetility is a rooftop solar PV technology company based in South Africa. It creates optimal capacity for stand-alone and sectional title homes and small commercial buildings. The company harnesses the power of the sun, with the aim of introducing the world to a hybrid solution that works seamlessly and in harmony with current power supply options.
Renewables in Africa is a clean energy engineering consultancy providing services in renewable energy and energy management to project developers and investors. RiA is primarily focused on projects in Africa, but it does advise clients about energy projects in other emerging markets as well. RiA is also a media platform with the vision to transform Africa and African lives by leveraging the power of renewable energy.
Wetility and Renewables in Africa work closely together.
Slideshow: “MC12” WTO Ministerial ConferenceClick to Learn More
Slideshow: “MC12” WTO Ministerial Conference
At the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference WTO Members should agree new trade rules to support the global response to COVID-19, accelerate the economic recovery, and enhance future pandemic preparedness. WTO Members should eliminate tariffs on health products, including finished therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines, as well as the active pharmaceutical ingredients, raw materials, chemicals, other inputs and intermediaries, and specialty equipment used to invent, manufacture, and deploy these products.
Slideshow: Challenges for Women contributing to the gender IP gapClick to Learn More
Slideshow: Challenges for Women contributing to the gender IP gap
Slideshow of five major challenges contributing to the IP gap from the Innovation Council’s presentation on “Policy approaches to close the gender IP gap.
Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and CovidClick to Learn More
Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and Covid
This slideshow presents key messages from the recent Innovation Council – Bobab online discussion about extending bio-manufacturing networks in emerging regions, notably Africa. The discussion on February 8th featured Prof. Mark Schultz of the University of Akron School of Law, Anissa Boumlic of Merck Life Science, and Simon Agwale of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative. Click here for the video of the event, and click here to review a transcript of the event.
Slideshow: Five Actions to address the gender IP gapClick to Learn More
Slideshow: Five Actions to address the gender IP gap
Slideshow of the five key actions to address the IP gap from the Innovation Council’s presentation on “Policy approaches to close the gender IP gap.
Slideshow: Measuring the Gender Gap in InnovationClick to Learn More
Slideshow: Measuring the Gender Gap in Innovation
Monitoring the share of women inventing, creating, and innovating is essential to develop appropriate policy responses to the innovation-related gender participation gap. Yet, several national and international innovation and IP data sources lack any type of gender breakdown.
This slideshow reviews the different ways to get innovation and IP data with gender breakdown.
Trade restrictions are delaying the COVID response. The WTO must actClick to Learn More
Trade restrictions are delaying the COVID response. The WTO must act
Together with Thaddeus Burns, Innovation Council member Merck LS, Jennifer Brant has co-authored a paper on the delay in the COVID response caused by trade restrictions and explains why the WTO must act. The human costs of the pandemic, already dire, continue to mount. Vaccines against COVID have been developed at an unprecedented pace through a series of unprecedented partnerships. But this is not the end of the story; there is still an urgent need to expand vaccine protection worldwide, including through the expansion of biologic drug production capacity.
Innovation Council engages on all aspects of policymaking related to innovation, trade, intellectual property, and technology transfer. We raise awareness about emerging best policy practices, share our members' practical experiences, and we advocate for inclusiveness in all innovation ecosystems. Our work spans multiple sectors and fields of technology. If you would like our views on a specific topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.