Innovation stories

Powered Up Festival 2021

Streaming throughout October 2021, Powered Up festival features a line-up of live-streamed sessions which aim to inspire innovation, creativity & entrepreneurship through the power of intellectual property (IP). Trade marks, designs, patents, copyright, and other IP rights, help us all to grow, protect and share our ideas, creations and products with the rest of the world.

Organised by Ideas Powered for Creatives, the festival is a mix of panel discussions, keynote speeches and one-to-one interviews, which will showcase some of the most-creative young minds and talked-about companies in Europe.

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Lack of diversity in patent holders means ‘half of the population’ isn’t getting needs met, economist Lisa Cook says

Diversity gaps in the U.S. patent system persist, in part, because of an absence of data on patent applicants. This lack of transparency has meant that patent holders are predominantly white, male and wealthy.

A recent study found that women, especially African-American and Latina women, obtain patents at significantly lower rates than men; people of color get approved for patents less often than white people; and individuals from lower-income families are less likely to acquire a patent than those who grew up in affluent families.

“Throughout history, women and underrepresented minorities have not been able to participate fully in each stage of the innovation process,” Lisa Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University. 

The inclusion of these underrepresented groups would evidently also have a positive impact on the economy and would increase U.S. GDP by 2.7% per capita, and by roughly $1 trillion annually. The economic activity from patents is estimated to be over $8 trillion, more than one-third of U.S gross domestic product. 

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Gender gap in US patents leads to few inventions that help women

The economist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Rembrand Koning, reasoned that the relative scarcity of women’s health products on the market is due to a scarcity of women inventing them. A study published in June confirms this theory: few biotechnology patents are owned by women, and female inventors are significantly more likely than are male ones to patent health products for women.

Teams made up of all women, were 35% more likely than all-male teams to invent technologies relating to women’s health. But teams made up of all women or all men were equally likely to patent technologies for men’s health. If women and men had produced an equal number of patents since 1976, the researchers estimated, there would be 6,500 more female-focused inventions today. 

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Q&A with 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.

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Women Athletes Inspiring your Entrepreneurship & IP Journey: 29 September

The USPTO Texas Regional Office in collaboration with the Texas Chapter of Chiefs in Intellectual Property (ChIPs), which focuses on advancing women in technology, law, and policy, present a panel of women athletes who have innovated as entrepreneurs and created or helped create successful businesses. The virtual event will take place on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. CT.

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IFPMA and Speak Up Africa announce winners of Africa Young Innovators for Health Award

Innovation Council member IFPMA announces the first-ever winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award at the official virtual ceremony on Thursday, 16 September from 09:30 GMT online.

The three winners will be revealed live at the Award Ceremony, where health leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs gather online to celebrate African innovation. And to highlight the vital role innovation plays, especially amongst young people in Africa, in tackling some of the most pressing healthcare challenges facing healthcare workers on the continent.

Read the full story and register here.

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WIPO Training: Mentoring and Matchmaking Program on IP for Women Entrepreneurs

Open for applications: WIPO women entrepreneurship program for members of indigenous peoples and local communities. The program supports indigenous entrepreneurs in strategically using intellectual property tools to grow their businesses.

Submit your application by September 6, 2021 here.

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Knowledge creates action – Invent Together

Invent Together is a coalition of organizations, universities, companies, and other stakeholders dedicated to understanding the diversity gaps in invention and patenting, and to supporting public policy and private initiatives to close them. Closing patent gaps would have significant benefits for individual inventors and society as a whole. Research shows that inventors with patents consistently earn higher incomes on average than non-inventors, even controlling for occupation, migrant status, and other factors.

Learn more about Invent Together and find interesting research in this area here.

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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).

Watch the full session. 

The IC intervention starts at 01:38:52.

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