October 7, 2021

Multi-sectoral TFs are being considered to deal with laggards in the innovation index

Following the Philippines’ one-notch drop in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has called for increased collaboration between government, industry, and academia, as well as the formation of multi-sectoral task forces to address the country’s GII weaknesses.

The National Innovation Council (NIC) may benefit from the Department of Trade and Industry’s past work on the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) Survey, according to IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba.

“As a member of the NIC, IPOPHL is advocating for the formation of task forces to address areas that are weighing us down in our GII performance, namely Institutions, Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure, and Market Sophistication,” Barba said at an inter-agency virtual press conference on the Philippine GII 2021 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Barba said that a task group was responsible for the Philippines’ dramatic 29-point improvement in 2020, to 95th out of 190 economies, the best ranking the nation has ever achieved in the DB.

“The NIC might follow suit, and we could not only improve our GII rating but also propel the nation farther into the innovation frontier,” he said.

IPOPHL also supports the Philippine Innovation Act of 2019’s drive for quicker creation of “innovation coalitions.”

These partnerships are regarded as encouraging joint research between business and academia within the law.

“Our agency is ready to assist enhance this area with our initiative to capacitate the patent search, analysis, and drafting skills of numerous universities, colleges, and research institutions,” Barba added.

“Filipinos’ works will continue to remain unfinished masterpieces, our greatest untapped treasure if we do not devote more resources and attention to innovation, creativity, and intellectual property (IP),” the IPOPHL head said.

2022 will be a better year.

Dr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, co-editor of the GII, said the country’s drop to 51st out of 132 economies is “not anything to be concerned about,” and praised how it “is still outperforming its level of development.”

The Philippines is still ranked 4th in Asia and 17th in the lower-middle-income category.

Wunsch-Vincent, who is also the chairman of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Economics and Statistics Division, noted improvement in IP filings but repeated his earlier appeal to major players in the Philippine knowledge sector.

“I urge you to collaborate on methods to optimize your IP use, particularly in light of the Philippine Innovation Act,” he added.

Barba, for one, envisions a more promising 2022 for Philippine invention and creativity.

“IP filings are showing indications of revival, and IPOPHL is increasing efforts more than ever to elevate IP to a higher position in the country’s recovery and larger innovation agenda,” he added.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) is an annual study co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to assist countries in developing policy responses to enhance their innovation status.

Despite the pandemic’s difficulties, scientific output, research and development (R&D) expenditures, IP filings, and venture capital transactions continued to rise worldwide in the 2021 report, titled “Tracking Innovation Through the Covid-19 Crisis.”

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