Welcome Remarks by Chief Executive, IPOS, at IP Week @ SG 2018

Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education

His Excellency Ambassador Flavio Damico, Ambassador of Brazil to Singapore,

Mr Zakariya Hamed Al Saadi, Consul-General of the Sultanate of Oman in Singapore

Mr Yoshiyuki Takagi, Assistant Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.     It is my pleasure and honour to welcome you to the 7th edition of IP Week @ SG. And to our many foreign guests, I wish you a warm welcome to Singapore.

2.     This year’s IP Week will bring together over 3, 500 persons from the IP, innovation and business communities of over 40 countries in what has become one of Asia’s leading IP events.

3.     Many of you are joining us for the first time, but almost half of you have attended previous editions of IP Week. This is especially gratifying to me and my team because it shows us that more people are making this event part of their annual calendar.

4.     IP Week started as a forum for thought leadership on IP issues and that continues to be a core component of our event. This year’s programme brings together more than 50 international speakers from over 100 partners and 54 supporting organisations, including three associated events co-organised by colleagues from the EU IP Office, the China National IP Administration and the Japan Patent Office.

5.     However, beyond IP thought leadership, the growth of this conference from just 500 persons seven years ago to its current size mirrors two larger trends that we see in Singapore.

6.     First, innovation is becoming a key driver of not just the developed economies, but also of emerging economies, especially in Asia. In the recently released Global Innovation Index, Asian economies were the standout performers. China maintained its strong upwards momentum and entered the top 20 this year, whilst Malaysia and Vietnam are amongst the highest-ranked countries in their respective income categories. Singapore retained its position as top in Asia and made it into the top 5 for the first time.

7.     Second, IP is becoming more interesting to a wider range of stakeholders because a stronger realization that the enterprise is the vehicle to take the IP to the market and because of an increasing focus on IP commercialization.

8.     IP is territorial, but the flow of innovation is global. Ensuring that innovative enterprises are supported as they transform ideas into assets and scale-up, requires that we as researchers, regulators, judges, service providers, financiers and business owners find opportunities to connect, discuss and ultimately, work together more closely. We wish for IP Week to be such a platform, bringing together a much more diverse group of stakeholders than is typical in most other IP conferences.

9.     I wish to take this chance to highlight a special group of stakeholders – our youth. At the heart of many innovative enterprises is a young entrepreneur who wants to make a difference. This year’s IP Week reaches out to them in several ways, one of which is a programme at the IP Market Place specially designed for students in the creative faculties of all 5 polytechnics.

10.     We also have with us two young inventors, Ian Hao and Ing Le, who are 12 and 14 and have invented a portable mobility aid that aims to make walking sticks smarter and safer. They have not only applied for a patent, but have formed a company, Qanemate, as a social enterprise to help our senior citizens and their families. We salute all these young designers and entrepreneurs, who will be the future innovators of Singapore and Asia.

11.     This year’s IP Week would not have been possible without support from many quarters. I wish to thank our sponsors who have supported us this year. I would like to specially mention the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, one of our key partners in our engagements with China. SSGKC has been supporting IP Week since 2015, and is our Platinum Sponsor this year.

12.     This conference would also not have been possible without many colleagues in the IPOS Family, who put in months of hard work leading up to this event. Thank you very much.

13.     Lastly, I thank everyone for being here with us and I wish all of you a fruitful week ahead.

14.     Thank you.

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