Welcome Remarks by Chief Executive, IPOS at IP Week @ SG 2016: Powering the Innovation Cycle through IP


Before we start, I would like to ask my fellow Singaporeans and our guests to rise and observe a minute of silence, in remembrance of Mr. S R Nathan, our 6th President, one of the leaders of our pioneer generation, and someone who helped Singapore grow “into a modern, prosperous and stable nation”. 


Thank you very much. Please be seated. 


Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Law
H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister of Industry and Handicrafts, Cambodia
Dr. Francis Gurry, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Office 

Esteemed colleagues
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen


1. Good morning.


2. On behalf of all my colleagues at IPOS, it is our great pleasure and honour, to welcome you to IP Week @ SG 2016. Two days ago, our Prime Minister said in his National Day Rally that the defining economic challenge for Singapore is disruption. In fact, this is not just a challenge that Singapore faces, but one that all economies represented in this room face as well.


3. And while one can say that disruption has existed since time immemorial, what is striking is the pace and scale at which it is happening now, powered by the Internet and by globalisation. These changes have been tremendously empowering for many people but also profoundingly unsettling for an equal, if not greater, number of people. Recent events have shown that multilateralism is increasingly unfashionable, and a more parochial spirit has taken root in our world. The challenge therefore, for all of us, is to work together to demonstrate that disruption should be seen as opportunity rather than threat, and as enrichment rather than as impoverishment.


4. One important way we can do this is, to broaden our understanding of disruption, to include innovation. Indeed, it can be said that one man’s innovation is another man’s disruption. Innovation, however, connotes the best of disruption, its ability to generate new ideas that improves our lives in fundamental ways.


5. In this room, are gathered the innovation and IP communities of many different countries. This is a community that deals with disruption and innovation, and understands it better, perhaps than any other community. We are a group of people who are well placed, over the next two days to engage, share stories and exchange ideas on how innovation can bring value to our people, and to our economies.


6. Our plenaries will focus on the broad issues of how IP and innovation agencies can continue to stay effective and relevant to the innovation landscape. We will also hear about how IP norm-making will evolve in a world shaped by mega-regional FTAs like the TPP, the TTIP and the RCEP.


7. As we move into the panel presentations, divided into concurrent business and legal tracks, we will also hear first-hand perspectives on how companies can better manage and monetise their IP, through the lens of topics such as IP intelligence, financing, management, and disputes.     


8. Another tradition of IP Week is our IP Ecosystem Fair, just next door, and is open to conference delegates and as well as members of the public. The Fair is a showcase of the various ‘best of class’ IP service providers, in Singapore, and there will also be a series of complimentary talks at the Fair by a diverse group of experts. 


9. Finally, IP Week would be incomplete without the WIPO-IPOS Awards, which is now into its fourth year. I would like to thank WIPO for its continued support in recognising companies that embody the spirit of innovation, the judges for helping us to select the winners, and all participants for taking the effort to share their stories with us.


10. I would also like to take this opportunity to especially mention our sponsors– Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Yusarn Audrey and Deloitte. We are also grateful for the support from our long-standing partners, INTA, LES, JETRO, NUS and NTU who have immensely enriched our programme for this year’s IP Week.


11. Finally, I would like to thank the organising committee, headed by our Assistant CE, Mr Ng Kok Wan, and his team, who have put in many months of hard work and dedication, into bringing this event to life.


12. I wish everyone a fruitful conference and for our foreign guests, a wonderful time in Singapore.


13. Thank you.