Regional initiatives

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.

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Acceleration Project 2021: Finding Ways to Valorize Palm Oil Waste in Indonesia

WIPO GREEN launched its Acceleration Project 2021, targeting a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the South-East Asian region: palm oil.  In collaboration with Winrock International – a US-based environmental NGO with established expertise in sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia – WIPO GREEN aims to make green technology solutions for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) treatment and valorization readily available to palm oil mills.

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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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Swiss sustainability benchmark: a call for Swiss businesses

The Swiss Sustainability Benchmark enables companies to understand its impact on customers, employees, suppliers, the broader community and the environment against sustainability best practices. The companies can take the Swiss Sustainability B_enchmark survey to get a snapshot of their performance based on international standards developed by B Lab and contribute to a collective and transformative process.

Link to complete the Swiss Sustainability B_enchmark.

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Nations Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech

Speaking at a panel organized by the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. Read full article here.

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EU Commission adopts action plan on intellectual property

In late November 2020, the EU Commission published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorize their intangible assets. The Action Plan aims at enabling the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and at speeding up Europe’s green and digital transitions. In particular, the Action Plan sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.

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L2Pro: Indian SMEs Learn to Protect IP

The L2Pro (Learn to Protect) India IP e-learning platform aims to educate start-ups, MSMEs, and innovators on protection and enforcement of their intellectual property. As an e-learning platform, the course is divided into three different levels. The basic level provides an overview of the intellectual property landscape in India. The intermediate and the advanced levels deal in detail with the more sophisticated concepts of protecting, managing, and commercializing IP, funding, the role of IP tech-standards, and IP dispute settlement. Innovation Council member Qualcomm provided the seed money for L2Pro, which was initially launched in Germany and the UK.

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GM’s new electric vehicle in China

This Bloomberg article discusses the introduction of the General Motors Co. Hongguang MINI EV in China, a surprise hit that sells for less than $5,000.

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B Lab’s Swiss Triple Impact program

The Swiss Triple Impact program aims to accelerate the contributions of Swiss businesses towards a more sustainable economy by mobilizing 3000 companies in Switzerland within 3 years to take action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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