Welcome Remarks by Chief Executive, IPOS, at IP Week @ SG 2019

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry,


Mr Naresh Prasad, Assistant Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organization,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.     It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you to the 8th edition of IP Week @ SG. And to our many foreign guests, a warm welcome to Singapore.

2.    Thanks to your support, IP Week continues to grow. This year, close to 4,000 persons from the research, professional, financial, business and government sectors of over 45 countries are participating in IP Week. And as with the last few years, enterprises continue to make up the largest segment – close to 40% - of attendees.

3.   The growth of IP Week and its diverse participants reflects an increasing trend where IP is no longer just a technical vertical, but a horizontal enabler. And as our economies become transformed by innovation, technology and digitalisation, intangible assets, not just IP, but data, trade secrets, know-how, expertise and more, will increasingly move to the centre of our economies.

4.    This transformation is especially evident in this part of the world. Four out of 10 R&D dollars are now spent in Asia, and six of 10 IP filings – patents, trade marks and even designs – are now initiated from Asia. From 2007 to 2017, IP filings in Asia grew at double the speed of IP filings in the rest of the world.

5.    Asian economies also continue to be strong performers in the Global Innovation Index. Within ASEAN, Malaysia and Thailand are amongst the top performers within their respective income groups and five Asian economies are within the top 20.

6.    However, the global ecosystem that has provided the framework for such growth is also under tremendous pressure. In such circumstances, we must continue to build bridges and strengthen connections between our innovation communities, to sustain and stimulate global innovation flows.

7.    It is therefore timely that over the next two days – and over the course of the week – we will have the chance to hear close to 60 thought and practice leaders at the Global Forum on IP on various topical issues relating to IP and intangible assets. Taking place concurrently will be the IP Marketplace which will allow our participants and members of the public to mingle, network and engage. This year, close to 25 exhibitors and sponsors will be setting up booths at the IP Marketplace and over 20 IP and innovation service providers will be using it to connect with over 100 prospective clients.

8.    Partnerships are critical to the success of IP Week, and our partners, such as the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, the Japan Patent Office, the UK IP Office, amongst other industry groups and government agencies, will be launching eight events during IP Week.

9.    We are also especially pleased to continue our close collaboration with WIPO in various ways, including supporting Phase 7 of the Heads of Intellectual Property Office Conference (HIPOC), together with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and of course, the annual WIPO-IPOS Awards. This year saw a record number of 27 applications – a three-fold increase from 2017 – and from a very diverse spread of industry, including medtech, renewable energy and consumer electronics. It is a testament to both the growing importance of innovation and IP to our domestic enterprises.

10.    IP Week 2019 would not have been possible without support from many quarters. I first wish to thank Minister Chan for being our guest-of-honour this year, as well as our many local and international partners who have helped enrich IP Week with their presence and programmes. I also would like to acknowledge and thank our Gold and Silver sponsors for their generous support. Lastly, my deep appreciation goes to many of my colleagues in the IPOS Family who worked very hard in the months leading up to this event.

11.    To conclude, the movement of IP and intangible assets to the centre of our economies will transform our world, and presents an opportunity for us to work even more closely to harness this for the good of our peoples and countries.

12.    I wish all of you an engaging and fruitful IP week, and a wonderful time in Singapore.

13.    Thank you very much.


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