Innovation Council shares information about the innovation process, provides perspectives on technical policy matters, and participates in policy discussions with international organizations. We are advocates of inclusive innovation policies that promote invention and the broad dissemination of new solutions globally. Below are some issues we work on.
Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems
It is widely recognized that innovation will be required to address the pressing challenges facing societies today. Success is more likely when all available talent and experience can be leveraged. A wide range of actors must be able to participate in innovation ecosystems. Intellectual property rights help to make this happen. IP rights such as patents allow technology and know-how to be shared and traded. They enable innovators without a significant in-house R&D capacity to access and use technology, and to integrate that technology into their value chains. Innovators of all types and sizes benefit from access to these business tools. Certain innovators – such as SMEs and minority inventors – will require support to secure protection for and effectively manage their IP. Innovation Council supports initiatives to broaden participation in innovation ecosystems.
Enabling Innovation Policies
Innovation ecosystems are complex. They involve many actors, which must be motivated to invest in risky new ventures with no guarantee of success. They rest on a foundation of enabling policies in areas including intellectual property, trade, investment, rule of law, and education. A productive innovation ecosystem provides legal certainty and predictability for innovators. IP protection and enforcement frameworks are important in this regard. Patent rules should be business-model neutral and aimed at supporting innovation over the long-term. Trade secret protection, which can help innovators to manage valuable, confidential information, is particularly relevant for SMEs and individual inventors. Rules that enable public and private sector entities to share knowledge and jointly commercialize R&D can ensure that breakthroughs don’t sit on the shelf. Through Innovation Council, members weigh in on the range of policies that can advance innovation across sectors and regions.
Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals
Innovators have a critical role to play in achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. They help to adapt and more broadly distribute existing products. They mobilize capital and investments for scaling proven solutions – and to develop entirely new ones. They apply and share their technology and know-how every day with partners globally. Companies in particular have the resources and scale to deliver broad global impact. Innovative partnerships involving the private sector are giving rise to creative ways of tackling global challenges in cost-effective, sustainable ways. Our members contribute to the SDGs through both their everyday activities and targeted initiatives. Through Innovation Council, they share information about what has worked, what worked less well, and their successes. They support diverse stakeholders in overcoming the remaining challenges to meet the SDG targets.
Technology and Knowledge Diffusion
Technological innovation has a transformative, enduring impact on people’s lives. In the past, inventions could be developed and diffused to society by one entity. Today, cutting-edge innovations flow through complex global R&D and value chains in order to reach people, and technology convergence across sectors is the norm. IPRs play an important role in this flow. They are used by many actors, including companies and research institutes, to manage and share their technologies and know-how, and to move their inventions out of the lab and into society. IP rights provide legal certainty and clarity as to each innovator’s contributions to a project and ownership of the outcome. Having IP protection encourages collaboration across organizations, industry sectors, and borders. Over time, this “open innovation” can drive improvements in human capital and innovative capacity, giving rise to centers of excellence. Innovation Council members share their insights about collaborative innovation and other channels for knowledge diffusion, and the policies and tools that make this possible.
Policy Discussions and International Organizations
Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) deliver valuable guidance and analysis about innovation and IP policymaking to governments and other stakeholders. They also provide a forum for policymakers and other actors to discuss best practices and to set high-level political objectives and direction. Each IGO has a specific mandate and scope of work. The mission of the World Intellectual Property Organization “is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all”. Given its mission and extensive technical expertise, WIPO has a leading role to play in demystifying how IP and other policies can be framed to drive technological advancement and socio-economic development. Engagement with IP users helps keep WIPO and other IGOs connected to emerging issues and developments in the real economy. Innovation Council members engage with IGOs to share their firsthand experiences bringing technologies to people.