Innovation stories

World IP Day 2021: IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market

World Intellectual Property Day 2021 shines a light on the critical role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy and how they can use intellectual property (IP) rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has developed interactive materials to learn more about IP and its use for SMEs.

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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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What the future may hold: Patent analyst Kavitha Andoji aims to turn big ideas into big things

Inventions have always been part of life for Kavitha Andoji. It started in her childhood in Hyderabad, India: she began inventing new things to save her family time and money, a habit with led her to later pursue a career focused on scientific exploration. Today, she is one of the top intellectual property experts at GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions, where she has analyzed more than 50,000 patents for the company and holds six of her own. After an excursion to Germany, where she learned how to use Embedded VC++ to write embedded software (a specialized form of programming used for devices that are not personal computers, such as cars and appliances), she returned to India and joined GE as a software technical leader in one of the company’s digital energy teams, working in geographic information systems (GIS) mapping.

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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.

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The Ella Project: Creating Female Role Models

The Ella Project was designed to create female role models and heroines with whom girls can identify.  Importantly, all of these role models have a passion for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship.  The Ella Project collects the various stories of these remarkable women in one place, and allows the women themselves to share with girls their inspiration, their views and reflections on their success, and their advice for future leaders.

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International Women’s Day: Actions to help women entrepreneurs

This infographic from the Innovation Council highlights five strategies to address the gender gap in IP and encourage innovation. Among the strategies identified are better data collection, projects to connect girls and women to IP, and targeted programs to encourage women to pursue careers in IP law.

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Challenges for women entrepreneurs & strategies to address the gender IP gap

Innovation Council prepared these slides to raise awareness regarding five challenges that contribute to the IP gender gap. You can read about actions to address the IP gender gap here.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has commissioned a study, which is to be released shortly, for the purpose of identifying policies that enhance access to the intellectual property (IP) system by women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs. While stating that it is not yet possible to identify a list of “best practices” in this area—due simply to a low level of research on the subject to date—the authors pinpoint a number of promising programs for the advancement of women in the IP system. They distill both a short list of barriers to women’s success in this arena and a lineup of possible next steps towards surmounting each of them.

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Featured innovator: Diana Trujillo

Diana Trujillo started her journey when she travelled from Colombia the USA with no English and just $300 in her pocket. “As a little girl, I saw the women in my family give up a lot. It gave me the tenacity that I needed to say ‘I’m not going to give up on my dream. I want to be out there looking back in, showing my family that women have value, that women matter.’”

She took any job she could get, working nights, housekeeping, and cleaning bathrooms, in order to put herself through community college. Eventually, Diana transferred to the University of Florida, where she majored in aerospace engineering.  She later became NASA Flight Director and helped design the rover’s robotic arm, which now collects rock samples on Mars.

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Quotes from speakers during the “Women in Innovation” webinar, International Women’s day 2021

The Women in Innovation: Providing leadership, Creating Solutions and Driving Change webinar, held on International Women’s Day 2021, offered a glimpse into the different paths of resilience that women have taken. The impactful stories told at the event brought to light the challenges faced by women across the African continent, and offered innovative solutions that can be used to solve Africa’s problems and transform livelihoods.

Read through the quotes of the speakers here.

 

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