Socio-economic development

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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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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Launch Event of ACCELERATE2030 4th Edition, 25 March

The launch event of ACCELERATE2030 4th Edition as part of the United Nations SDG Global Festival of Action will take place on Thursday 25 March 2021 from 18.30 – 19.15 CET. This year’s theme is “Partnerships for Circular Economy” and the launch event will be an opportunity to meet global leaders as well as entrepreneurs supported by Accelerate2030, and to learn how your organisation can get engaged in 2021 and beyond.

The COVID-19 pandemic put in evidence that no organisation or individual can address the global  economic, social and environmental challenges that we face with an independent approach. It is now time to rebuild the existing business models with a more circular approach and address change by prioritising solutions that help reform systems around the world.

Register here.

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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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Intellectual Property Meets SMART Agriculture Webinar

The purpose of this webinar was to discuss how smart agriculture can support African communities to ensure food security and how the patent system can contribute to increased knowledge and skills in agriculture in order to enable these communities to make more effective use of these advanced technologies.

Watch the webinar here.

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IP Matters in Europe

The key findings from the joint study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office are presented in this Innovation Council infographic. The six figures show at a glance why IP matters, underlining the important contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the prosperity and competitiveness of Europe. The full study is definitely worth a read: it provides a detailed and wide-ranging analysis of how industries that make intensive use of intellectual property rights (IPR) contribute to EU economies. It updates and extends the findings of a previous study released in 2016. The original study can be found here.

 

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Expectations rise for China-US health cooperation

In their 2021 annual letter themed ‘the year global health went local’ released by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, they are reviewing the epidemic in 2020 and addressing the future.

Gates stressed that cooperation between China and the US is critical to combating the pandemic, including ending the current pandemic and preventing the next one, while he pointed to China’s continuing technological advances, improving regulatory capabilities and a growing willingness to help the world.

Roberta Lipson, founder of United Family Healthcare, agreed that there is plenty of room for cooperation between China and the US, first and foremost in healthcare amid the epidemic’s hardships. High tariffs make the use of imported products more costly for both countries, said Lipson, adding that elimination or reduction of these duties would give patients in both countries access to the most suitable products at reduced costs.

“Opening the market for leading-edge therapies and medicines will also benefit from level playing fields in central procurement as well as reliable intellectual property rights protection,” said Lipson.

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The rise and fall of the first American patent thicket: The sewing machine war of the 1850s

The patent war of the 1850s may have been a long time ago, but it is still relevant. Adam Mossoff shows how the invention and incredible commercial success of the sewing machine is a powerful display of early American technological, commercial and legal ingenuity that heralds important empirical lessons for understanding and applying patent thievery theory today.

The Sewing Machine War demonstrated all these phenomena, including the effects of patent trolls, and proves that this is an age-old problem in patent law. The untangling of this patent thicket in the sewing machine combination of 1856, led to the first privately established patent pool. This also challenges the conventional wisdom that patent thickets are best resolved by public law rules limiting ownership of patents.

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If poor countries go unvaccinated, rich ones will pay, a study shows.

Ensuring that every country gets enough vaccines against COVID-19 should not only be done for humanitarian reasons: It is also of economic interest, says a study commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce. If less prosperous countries do not receive sufficient vaccinations, the rich countries will have to bear the (economic) costs.

In the worst-case scenario: If wealthy countries are fully vaccinated by the middle of this year and poor countries are largely excluded – the global economy would suffer losses of more than $9 trillion, a sum greater than the annual output of Japan and Germany combined.

Even if researchers do not expect the worst and assume that developing countries vaccinate half the population by the end of 2021, the global economy would take a hit of between $1.8 trillion and $3.8 trillion.

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