Work on Sri Lanka’s national Innovation Index set to measure the Lankan innovation portfolio, began in Colombo Tuesday.
“In view of the rapidly expanding knowledge-driven global trade and economic activities, Intellectual Property (IP) has acquired a very important status,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said addressing the inauguration of the National Level Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy Conference.
Minister 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,” he noted.
“Their strong research and development are transformed into innovations and then patents are obtained. This trend is never more important than at present times,” he added.
The Minister said Asia contributed significantly to these growth taking a strong 43% of 2015 global total. Even Sri Lanka’s own applications showed a positive trend. 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.
“Therefore an organized Intellectual Property System will not only pay back the innovator but also spreads knowledge and information to the society.”
The Minister of Industry and Commerce said the government has recognized the usefulness of an active Intellectual Property System, and has taken major steps in promoting the use of Intellectual Property as a tool for economic and social development.
“The vision of our Government is to transform Sri Lanka’s economy into a knowledge based economy.”
The top UN agency tasked with world Intellectual Property (IP) development says many new IP projects have been earmarked for Colombo in future.
WIPO Asia Pacific Regional Director Andrew Michael Ong said the Innovation Index initiative is a result of WIPO’s 2013 recommendation for such a national level and regional indices for Sri Lanka.
The conference is organized by the National Intellectual Property Office joined by Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO- Geneva), and Ministry of Science and Technology of Sri Lanka.
Among the International panelists in Colombo are WIPO Asia Pacific Regional Director Andrew Michael Ong, Cornell University Visiting Fellow Dr Richard S Cahoon, Julius and Creasy Senior Partner Dr. J.M. Swaminathan, Columbia Maryland’s ET Cube’s Intellectual Property Commercialization specialist Yumiko Hamano and WIPO Senior Economist, Dr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent.