Singapore, 4 September 2018 – The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) today announced new initiatives with a wide range of innovation stakeholders to entrench Singapore as an IP and innovation hub. The partnerships with insurance giant Lloyd’s Asia, and NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (NUS SCALE), will offer enterprises new tools and capabilities to grow their intangible assets and commercialise their IP. Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Group (SCG) through SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd., will also sign an agreement to leverage on IPOS’ suite of services for business growth. IPOS will sign the three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) at IP Week @ SG 2018, one of Asia’s premier IP events.
Enabling Singapore innovative enterprises to scale global markets with confidence
2. The launch of the Makara Innovation Fund last year enabled IPOS to provide innovative enterprises with smart and patient capital to scale up. However, IP and intangible asset driven growth presents new types of risk that need to be managed differently. IPOS’ partnership with Lloyd’s Asia, the leading marketplace for specialist insurance and reinsurance, will address the rising global demand from innovative enterprises for cutting edge protection, in the form of IP insurance, of their intangible assets and IP. With Lloyd’s global network and expertise in specialist insurance, enterprises in the region can now look forward to new IP insurance products from Singapore which will enable them to grow globally with more confidence.
3. Under the MoU, Lloyd’s Asia will work with IPOS to introduce IP insurance products which will cater to the needs of enterprises in attracting capital, averting business interruption and strengthening negotiating positions when they use IP in the course of their business. Both parties will also jointly organise a series of seminars reaching out to 100 companies over a period of two years to promote Singapore as a centre of excellence for IP commercialisation, IP rights protection and the availability of underwriting expertise for IP insurance. As a strategic business tool, IP insurance allows companies to take on a larger capacity in managing and mitigating their risks as they commercialise their intangible assets and IP, and venture into global markets.
4. Ms Angela Kelly, Country Manager of Lloyd’s Asia, said, “Intangible assets such as IP now account for a significant share of corporate value for many companies. Businesses can safeguard this highly valuable asset through IP insurance to help mitigate the risks of IP infringement, including defraying legal costs of possible subsequent IP rights enforcement. In 2016, there were over 50,000 trademark registrations and over 7,000 patent registrations in Singapore alone. As companies in Asia continue their pursuit and development of innovative ideas and solutions, the potential for IP insurance will grow in tandem in the region.”
5. Mr Ng Yao Loong (黄耀龙), Assistant Managing Director (助理局长), Development & International Group (开发与国际), Monetary Authority of Singapore (新加坡金融管理局), said, “The collaboration between IPOS and Lloyd’s Asia reinforces Singapore’s position as Asia’s leading specialty insurance hub. This development in IP insurance is a good reflection of how our insurance sector is innovating and creating solutions to help Asian enterprises better manage their risks.”
Helping Singaporeans build IP and innovation related skills
6. As Singapore powers ahead to become an innovation-driven economy, there will be an increase in the demand for persons trained in IP and innovation related skillsets. IP Academy Singapore (IPA) – the training and education arm of IPOS – will launch a Specialist Certificate in Intangible Asset Management to train Singaporeans in IP and innovation-related skills. This will in turn create high value-added jobs for Singaporeans and help enterprises be adept at transforming their ideas into assets. The new eight-month part-time programme will not only interest those already in the IP industry, but also targets those who are new to the industry and are keen to pick up these skills. The course will emphasise practical application and have a strong commercial slant, in order to build skills that can be used to help enterprises integrate their business and IP strategies, and ultimately take their ideas to the market. The first intake is slated for January 2019.
7. IPA will also collaborate with NUS SCALE to curate and deliver executive programmes and master classes for professionals and enterprises, and work towards developing a new joint professional certification for IP and innovation skills. The training programmes will be instructed by a team of experienced faculty members and teaching staff from NUS and IPA. The joint programmes, together with the Specialist Certificate, will deepen the IP knowledge and skillsets of the participants as well as enlarge the pool of skilled IP manpower needed to bolster Singapore’s position as an IP hub.
8. Professor Wei Kwok Kee (魏国基教授), Dean (院长), NUS SCALE (新加坡国立大学持续与终身教育学院), said, “In today’s global economy, innovation is a differentiator for enterprises to stay competitive. This makes the value and management of IP more important than ever. Hence, it is of strategic importance that our nation continues to elevate our awareness and expertise on IP management. NUS SCALE is appreciative of the opportunity to partner IP Academy Singapore, an authoritative academy in its field, to foster innovation among our professionals and businesses and advance their competitiveness through high-quality IP education.”
Servicing the flow of ideas and innovation ‘from Singapore, through Singapore’
9. Asia has seen tremendous growth in innovation related activities, with six out of ten IP filings now originating from Asia. This growth has been driven largely by China, which is now the world’s largest filer of patents, reaching 1.3 million in 2017 - more than what the US, EU, Japan and Korea filed together in the same year.
10. As a result of these trends, there is a huge amount of technology and patent data in the world – close to 40% – that is available only in the Chinese language. IPOS is the only office outside of China that operates bilingually in English and Chinese. As such, we are able to access and understand technology and patent data from all over the world and leverage on this to deepen Singapore’s appeal as an IP hub.
11. To leverage on this capability, SCG, Thailand’s largest industrial and manufacturing conglomerate and a leading ASEAN multi-national company, will sign an MoU with IPOS to access IPOS’ comprehensive patent search services as well as other services such as IP related capability building.
12. Mr Cholanat Yanaranop, Executive Vice President of SCG, Chairman of SCG Innovation Committee and President of SCG Chemicals, said, “Known regionally for their efficiency and quality patent search and examination, Singapore is also one of the only two countries in the world that can conduct patent searches in both English and Chinese, ensuring thorough and comprehensive search results which is important when we expand our product offerings to the world markets”.
13. Elaborating on the three MoUs and their significance for Singapore’s position as an IP hub, Mr Daren Tang (邓鸿森), Chief Executive (局长) of IPOS (新加坡知识产权局), said, “Our aim is to build Singapore’s innovation ecosystem so that “from Singapore and through Singapore” IP from anywhere in the world can use this country as a base to commercialise their IP and access growth markets in Asia and beyond. These new partnerships will bring cutting edge IP products to the region, build skills that are needed by enterprises as they innovate, and position Singapore’s IP hub as one that understands Asian and Western technology and patent databases. Our initiatives leverage on Singapore’s traditional strengths as a forward looking, enterprise centred and global city, but through a new lens of IP and innovation.”
14. At the opening ceremony of IP Week @ SG, six winners of the pre-eminent WIPO-IPOS IP awards for 2018 were announced by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minster, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education. These enterprises have achieved outstanding growth in innovation, transformation and commercialisation through their IP. For the first time, IPOS presented an inaugural Young Achievers award to encourage enterprising spirit among youths. Two awards were also accorded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialised agency of the United Nations.