Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals

GSIV finalists transforming reduce and recover waste in developing markets

Just in time for World IP Day we received news of these innovative Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) Finalists for 2021! The UNDP, EPFL, Orange, and SAP have selected GARV toilets (India), Sinba (Peru), ColdHubs (Nigeria), Saathi (India) as finalists in the category Waste. From biodegradable and compostable pads, circular food systems and innovations, to solar-powered walk-in cold rooms and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart sanitation hubs, they collectively reach thousands of users across Nigeria, Peru, Bhutan, Ghana, India, and the US. They are looking to raise between USD 800,000 and 3.9 million in grants, equity, or debt to scale their impact and operations.

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GSIV finalists transforming health in developing markets

The UNDP, EPFL, Orange, and SAP have selected Livox, Bempu Health, Vula Mobile, and Mamotest as the health finalists for the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) initiative. From Brazil, India, South Africa, and Argentina, respectively, these midcap companies went through GSIV’s rigorous selection process and emerged as the most impactful and investment-ready ventures, providing products and services to facilitate access to quality health care at the bottom of the pyramid.

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Call for game changing solutions for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021

WIPO Green is calling for game changing solutions for the UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place later this year. The summit is part of the larger process of pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals, and has the ambitious objective of transforming the way the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food. The process is guided by five Action Tracks, and the Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare, and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders. The first wave of callsfor solutions has been completed, and a second wave is now active, with a deadline of April 30th. If you are interested, and would like to know more or need assistance, you are welcome to contact Peter Oksen at WIPO GREEN (peter.oksen@wipo.int).

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An interview with Nobel Prize winner Robert Lefkowitz

Robert Lefkowitz is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. His mantra? If you’re not failing, you’re not asking hard enough questions. During the past 50 years, Bob’s work in identifying and understanding receptors (the parts of cells that receive hormones) has led to the creation of many drugs and saved countless lives.

In this interview, you will learn more about his life and career path.  For example, he had the happiest time in his entire education when he went to medical school because he was able to realize his dream of becoming a doctor; at that time he had absolutely no interest in becoming a scientist.  Despite this, he and colleague Brian Kobilka were later awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012 for their studies of G-protein-coupled receptors.

Read the full story.

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As Locusts Swarmed East Africa, This Tech Helped Get Rid of Them

In 2020, billions of locusts descended on East African countries that had not seen them in decades.  The cause?  Unusual weather connected to climate change. Kenya last dealt with a plague of this scale more than 70 years ago; Ethiopia and Somalia, more than 30 years ago. Nineteen million farmers and herders across these three countries, which bore the brunt of the damage, saw their livelihoods severely affected.

Tech and crowdsourcing operations have proven useful in managing such locusts invasions more efficiently.  The app PlantVillage, for example, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help farmers in 60 countries, primarily in Africa, diagnose problems in their fields. Borrowing from PlantVillage’s blueprint, another app called eLocust3m was developed in just a month.  The success to date of these apps shows that crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence can be absolute game-changers for hundreds of millions of people as we adapt to climate change.

Read the full story.

 

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Opinion: How Intellectual Property Rights Helped America Fight COVID-19

James Pooley, a former deputy director general of WIPO and a member of the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, explains in this article how past investments in R&D helped in the fight against Covid-19. Over the last 10 years alone, drug companies have invested more than $1.5 trillion in global pharmaceutical research (notably, the US—home to less than 5% of the world’s population—accounts for roughly half of all international pharmaceutical R&D spending).  With this in mind, it takes years to develop a new medicine, conduct clinical studies, and navigate regulatory review; indeed, it costs $2.6 billion, on average, to bring a new drug to market. Patents, however, give innovators a fair opportunity to recoup their investment costs before generics firms can manufacture copycat medicines, making it possible for companies to chase state-of-the-art ideas.

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Solar Entrepreneurship Masterclass 12 May, 12pm GMT

On Wednesday, 12 May at 12pm GMT, Tony Tiyou, founder and CEO of Renewables in Africa, a clean energy engineering company and a media platform is presenting a workshop on how to become a solar developer and get funding.

Read the full story and register here. 

 

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Techinvention’s scFv libraries help fight COVID-19

Innovation Council member Techinvention, has successfully generated two scFv libraries using phage display technologies from the convalescent plasma of COVID-19 recovered patients. The library now with us includes one billion different clones of antibody genes (VHs-Vκs and VHs-Vλs) with high probability to get high affinity fully human antibodies. This library will be used for the development of monoclonal antibody against multiple proteins of SARS-CoV-2 to address the looming threat posed by emerging mutant strains. It can also be used for diagnostic purposes, bioassays kit development, affinity maturation, studying protein-protein interactions and developing antibodies against other viral diseases with grave consequences and unmet medical needs.

For more information please click on the following links:

TechInvention Lifecare Pvt Ltd (www.techinvention.biz)
Fiocruz, Brazil (https://lnkd.in/eF5tShs)
Bio-Manguihos, Brazil (https://lnkd.in/evVWeX2)

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The Role of Business Schools in Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals: Beyond Quality Education

In this article, Sherif Kamel describes how business schools can help advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both through advocacy and through the revamping of their business and management education programs to include the study of businesses’ societal contexts.  The actions that Kamel describes include redesigning curricula, revisiting pedagogical approaches (including experiential learning), creating internships and co-op programs, identifying research endeavours and their policy implications, carefully selecting business partners and affiliations, diversifying extracurricular activities, integrating innovative technologies, investing in community development, and reconfiguring executive education.

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