Sri Lanka commences innovation portfolio measuring


June 15, 2016 (LBO) – Work on Sri Lanka’s long awaited national Innovation Index which is set to measure the islands innovation portfolio, began in Colombo, Tuesday.

The UN agency tasked with world Intellectual Property (IP) development says in a statement that many new IP projects have been earmarked for Colombo in future.

“In view of the rapidly expanding knowledge–driven global trade and economic activities, Intellectual Property (IP) has acquired a very important status,” said Rishad Bathiudeen,  minister of Industry and Commerce.

He was addressing the inauguration of high profile National Level Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy Conference.

Among the International panellists at the event were Andrew Michael Ong, WIPO Asia Pacific regional director, Dr Richard S Cahoon, Cornell University visiting fellow, Dr. J.M. Swaminathan, Julius & Creasy senior partner , Yumiko Hamano, Columbia Maryland’s ET Cube’s intellectual property commercialisation specialist and  Dr Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, WIPO senior economist.

Bathiudeen said, the IP System of a country greatly contributes to its various development activities such as promotion of national creativity, research, technology transfer, licensing, commercialization of goods and services, and proper implementation of industrial policies.

“If we look at many developed economies practicing high level of innovation such as Japan and Korea, we can see that intellectual property has become a key growth driver for them.”

Their strong research and development are transformed into innovations and then patents are obtained. This trend is never more important at present times, he added.

The applications received by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2015 increased by a strong 5 percent from 2014.

Filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) increased by 1.7 percent in 2015.

The statement says that Asia contributed significantly to these growth taking a strong 43 percent of 2015 global total.

In 2014, Sri Lanka filed a total of 516 ‘Article 50’ Patent applications. Costa Rica, Tunisia and Uzbekistan are the only countries that filed Article 50 Patent applications in a somewhat similar range to Sri Lanka.

WIPO Asia Pacific Regional Director Andrew Michael Ong said that innovation thrives in an environment of collaboration.

“I see today a big gathering of players and actors of innovation systems in Sri Lanka. WIPO congratulates Sri Lanka for preparing this session. As a UN Agency, WIPO’s mandate is to provide info and support IP policy. We have been working with Sri Lanka’s NIPO and looking forward to take up key development projects in future as well.”

A few months ago, a special WIPO team was in Colombo for a session on Tourism industry related IP development. Earlier, another team of WIPO consultants were in Colombo to study integration of IP policy to Sri Lanka’s innovation systems.