By Maria Fernanda Hurtado, Executive Director, Global Intellectual Property Alliance (GLIPA)
Innovation ecosystems around the world share a common fault line: Similar actors pursuing sector-specific agendas in isolation, missing precious opportunities to join regional and international efforts that are broader in scope and reach, and hold increased potential to improve people’s lives.
Myriad opportunities exist to foster and leverage conversations among policymakers, researchers, businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers to make progress in building the well-functioning, inclusive and diverse innovation ecosystems we need …
The fault lines are not only geographic. As the World Intellectual Property Report 2022 mentions, “public and private motivations are not always aligned.” Myriad opportunities exist to foster and leverage conversations amongpolicymakers, researchers, businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers to make progress in building the well-functioning, inclusive and diverse innovation ecosystems we need to support business growth and socio- economic development more broadly.
GLIPA’s vision is to build a world in which IP empowers all people to improve their lives and create a more prosperous and sustainable future.
The emergence of a global IP alliance
In the United States, these opportunities inspired the formation of the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance® (GIPA) in 2018. Over the following two years, similar alliances formed in other parts of the country. In 2020, those state alliances joined ranks to form the United States Intellectual Property Alliance® (USIPA). Bridging fault lines between and among state alliances, USIPA runs more than 50 different IP programs throughout the country, uniting diverse key stakeholder initiatives to enhance IP awareness. These include reaching out to communities that are strikingly underrepresented in terms of their use of the IP system, namely women, young people and others.
The effectiveness of the alliance model has since given rise to the formation, of the Global Intellectual Property Alliance (GLIPA). Established in October 2022, GLIPA’s vision is to build a world in which IP empowers all people to improve their lives and create a more prosperous and sustainable future. We will do this through IP awareness campaigns, IP education programs, and by collaborating with key public and private partners. In rolling out these programs, GLIPA is strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion to ensuring that as many people as possible, in particular women, have the knowledge and understanding they need to navigate the IP system effectively and leverage the value to their work.
Under the GLIPA umbrella, members can work together to strengthen the use of IP as a tool to foster creativity and advance innovation and entrepreneurship.
Notwithstanding the important work of many IP organizations at local, national, regional, and in some cases global levels, the IP visionaries who founded GLIPA recognized the need for an overarching alliance to bring together the full spectrum of public and private stakeholders across all areas of IP and at all levels. Under the GLIPA umbrella, members (including organizations and individuals) can worktogether to strengthen the use of IP as a tool to foster creativity and advance innovation and entrepreneurship.
The strong and positive global response we have seen, confirms the need for this alliance. In just a few months,GLIPA has emerged as a truly international entity, counting 269 active volunteer members from 63 countries. GLIPA is made up of five regional groupings covering Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and United States/Canada. GLIPA is non-political. It does not engage in legislative or policy advocacy, nor does it act on behalf of any economic or industrial sector. Membership is free of charge. GLIPA feelsprivileged to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Intellectual Property Organization on joint activities such as seminars, events, IP clinics, and more – to advance the global understanding and use of intellectual property.
Supporting women’s participation in the IP system
GLIPA is delighted that this year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign is focusing on the need to raise IP awareness among women. This year’s celebration is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the huge contributions that women make to innovation, creativity and business. It is also a time to re-double efforts to address the significant gender gap that still exists in terms of women’s participation in the IP system. That is why GLIPA is actively supporting this year’s campaign, using our already expansive network to amplify the call to create more opportunities for women to use and benefit from the IP system. Indeed, we will be kicking off our 2023 program of activities with an exciting high-level online event that will bring together five accomplished women who are in key IP leadership roles in different parts of the world. The discussion will explore the challenges that these women have faced in participating in the IP system. Their inspiring life stories will encourage others to find out how IP can support their ambitions and, more generally, help accelerate innovation and creativity.
Strategies for success
As a new entity, one of GLIPA’s priorities for 2023 is to expand our membership to reflect all aspects of the IP and innovation ecosystem. In parallel, we are developing and will soon begin implementing core strategies within each region to raise IP awareness, strengthen IP ecosystems and promote diversity and inclusion. There is still a huge amount of work to be done, but we are up for the challenge. If you interested in joining GLIPA, visit our website and get in touch. Together we can advance our vision to support the well-being of people everywhere through the use of IP.