Screenshot of IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba during the PH Inter-Agency Virtual Presser on GII 2021 by THEPHILBIZNEWS
Following the Philippines’ one-notch slide in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has called for stronger collaboration among government, industry and the academe, and urged for the formation of multi-sectoral task forces to address the country’s weak spots in the GII.
IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said this is a lesson the National Innovation Council (NIC) can learn from the Department of Trade and Industry’s previous work on the World Bank’s Doing Business (DB) Survey.
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“As a member of the NIC, IPOPHL is urging for the creation of task forces to address areas that weigh us down in our GII performance, namely Institutions, Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure and Market Sophistication,” Barba said at an inter-agency virtual presser on the Philippine GII 2021 held Tuesday.
“[A task force] helped result in the drastic 29-notch improvement in the Philippine ranking in 2020 to 95th out of 190 economies –– the highest rank ever attained by the country in the DB. The NIC can consider emulating this, and we might not only reverse our GII ranking but also push the country further into an innovation frontier,” he added.
IPOPHL is also backing the faster formation of “innovation alliances” as pushed for under the Philippine Innovation Act of 2019.
Under the law, these alliances are seen to encourage collaborative research between companies and the academe.
“Our agency, with our program to capacitate the patent search, analysis and drafting capabilities of many universities, colleges and research centers, is ready to help improve this area,” Barba said.
The IPOPHL chief also called for more resources in boosting the value of the country’s knowledge economy, warning that “Filipinos’ works will continue to be unfinished masterpieces, our greatest untapped asset, if we do not direct more resources and attention to innovation, creativity and intellectual property (IP). “
GII Co-Editor Dr. Sacha Wunsch-Vincent said the country’s slide to 51st out of 132 economies is “not something to worry about too much,” and commended how the country “is still overperforming relative to its level of development.”
The Philippines remains to rank 4th in the lower-middle-income group and 17th in Asia.
Also head of the Economics and Statistics Division of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Wunsch-Vincent noted progress in IP filings, but reiterated his previous call to key actors in the Philippine knowledge economy.
“I encourage that you work together ways to improve your usage of IP and in the context of the Philippine Innovation Act as well,” the WIPO official said.
For his part, Barba sees a brighter 2022 for Philippine innovation and creativity.
“IPOPHL expects to see the country regain its momentum next year as IP filings are showing signs of recovery, and as IPOPHL is intensifying work more than ever to bring IP to a higher place in the country’s recovery and greater innovation agenda.”
The GII is an annual report co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO to help governments design policy responses to improve their innovation status.
The 2021 report is themed “Tracking Innovation through the COVID-19 Crisis,” where it was found that scientific output, R&D expenditures, IP filings and venture capital deals continued to grow globally despite adversities in the pandemic.