Empowering the innovators

Now ranked 59th, from 51st in 2021, among 132 economies in the index, we saw this temporary fall as a chance to revitalize the spirit of innovation and competitiveness straight to homegrown Filipino innovators

The Philippines’ alarming decline in the 2022 Global Innovation Index has sparked a mission for us here in the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to intensify the empowerment of creators and innovators.

Now ranked 59th, from 51st in 2021, among 132 economies in the index, we saw this temporary fall as a chance to revitalize the spirit of innovation and competitiveness straight to homegrown Filipino innovators.

While the GII report recognizes the Philippines as one of “the middle-income economies with the fastest innovation catch-up to date,” the report also underscores that the country fell back on sustaining innovation efforts over time. (See statement of the Director General: ipophil.gov.ph/news/statement-of-the-director-general-on-the-global-innovation -index-2022/)

Ranking eight notches down, we have appealed to further intensify the efforts of the National Innovation Council, with IPOPHL as one of its members, in accelerating work supporting our innovation sector. Even with the framework of the Philippine Innovation Act in place, the outcome of the pandemic was still an unforeseen force that drove IP filings to their reduced values.

Nonetheless, we have placed more efforts to bring stronger aid to MSMEs. We recognize that this sector is the strongest player in the Philippine economy, making up 64.7 percent of the Filipino workforce and 35.7 percent of value-added shares.

For the part of IPOPHL, we have laid down our MSME services through our Asian Institute of Management-Dado Banatao Incubator partnership, Innovation and Technology Support Offices, and the Youth Intellectual Property Incentive Program. Nevertheless, there is much to be done to empower creatives and innovators at a local level.

While we face certain challenges in the international innovation landscape, we do find it crucial to recognize the Filipino innovators who uphold local competition and innovation.

This is why we could not have been more thrilled to be part of the ninth Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Summit last 20 October showcasing the newest criteria of scoring and ranking for most competitive LGUs — the pillar of innovation.

The Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index has recently included innovation as a key criterion for measuring local competitiveness, among economic dynamism, government efficiency, resiliency, and infrastructure.

The summit was a refreshing scene after receiving news of the Philippines’ placement in the index. Indeed, we applaud those cities and municipalities awarded with the distinct honors of most competitive in terms of innovation.

Innovation was the key element why our office has been crucial to determining the best of our cities and municipalities. This is why the newest special awards of most IPs filed and registered have surprised the audiences, especially those cities and municipalities that have received the top honors. This was a strategic move, of course, to revitalize competition through recognition of localities with hearts for IP.

On top of our efforts to build back better with MSMEs, we now strive to show appreciation to those who painstakingly carry and sustain national innovation — scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, local government workers, and all those who take IP protection to the heart.

Through the WIPO Global Awards, IPOPHL aims to recognize MSMEs and youth innovators who have successfully commercialized their innovations through IP. Through awarding individuals who have made significant IP impacts, we are also building awareness among those MSMEs who are unaware of its cruciality in the innovation and commercial landscape.

Through recognition, we are showing our innovators their value on the larger scale of economic progress. There is a spark of motivation at every mention of everyone’s hard work in building what we now have as the IP economy — a vital aspect in rebuilding, instilling, and engaging our most valuable innovation players to the growth of the Philippine economy.

But to further strengthen the empowerment of intellectual property filers in the coming years, we aim to foster competition by broadening the scope of IP recognition locally. Besides, a platform for the voices of the innovation sector would only strengthen the cause for policy-building and agenda-setting.

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