WIPO’s Gurry: Artificial Intelligence, Gene Editing Latest ‘Winners’ In Innovation 13/07/2017 by Elise De Geyter for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The main winners of innovation are technologies that enable market application, with gene editing and artificial intelligence as two examples, Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, told a panel discussion last week. Thomas Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), said at the same event that everybody benefits from innovation. A panel discussion about innovation was organised by the Geneva Press Club (Club Suisse de la Presse) on 6 July. The panel reflected on the question of who are the beneficiaries of innovation. Innovation Innovation is highly complex and entails several elements of politics and economics, according to Gurry. Technology is a dominant force in the economy and society, and has consequences in politics as well, he said. Competition is based on innovation, Gurry said, adding that innovation is a very expansive concept, and does not only entail hard technology. Speed and innovation are two important changes in relation to technology, he said, and technology is permanently disruptive. Gury said there is an exceptional diversity among countries, and the economies of countries worldwide vary from pre-industrial and industrial to post-industrial. The differences among these countries are extremely large, he said, underlining that the degree of asymmetry in technology capacity around the world cannot be overestimated. He told the event that there is a risk that these asymmetries will increase with the scale and speed of the integration of technology in the economy and society. The focus should be on frugal innovation, Gurry said, which entails the adaptation of innovation developed in one place to local circumstances, including the costs of living of another place. Frugal innovation has led to significant results, Gurry added. He gave as an example the mobile cardiogram in India. Winners of Innovation Those who create market enabling innovation will win from innovation, Gurry said. Artificial Intelligence and CRISPR will create an enormous market application and are two examples of the winners of innovation, he said. Artificial intelligence will have huge and disruptive effects on the society, he said, while CRISPR technology has the capacity to intervene in a very precise manner with DNA. Cueni said that innovation has led to an amelioration of the lives of everyone. Cueni gave as an example that polio has almost been completely eradicated. The current duration of copyright protection reflects the increased life expectation, he said. Everybody recognises that progress has been made in relation to neglected diseases, Cueni said, adding that measurement of progress is essential in order to be credible. Measuring of Innovation Gurry told the event that innovation is hard to measure. The Global Innovation Index is an average measure across a country, he said, and small countries have a slight advantage over highly diverse countries. The Index, on which WIPO partners to produce, is a much more complex document than the ordering of countries in relation to innovation, he said. There has definitely been a geopolitical shift in innovation capacity, Gurry said. There has been relative stability in the top 20 performances in the Global Innovation Index, but there have been some significant changes in relation to China, Gurry said. China, at number 22 in the Global Innovation Index 2017, is the first middle-income country to enter the top 25. There has been an “extraordinary explosion” of the number of patent applications in China and Asia, Gurry said (IPW, GII 2017, 15 June 2017). The Index entails an innovation efficiency ratio, which measures the innovation output of a country compared with its input, Gurry said. The innovation efficiency ratio of 2017 indicates that African countries do “extremely well” in generating innovation with limited resources, he added. Pharmaceutical Industry Cueni said that some people are concerned that the R&D model in the pharmaceutical industry is broken. He told the event that he is convinced the business model of the pharmaceutical industry is “as effective and vibrant as it always has been.” There are several areas where the pharmaceutical industry needs to engage in open dialogue. The strongest and most pressing needs are in the area of antimicrobial resistance, he said. Cueni said he believes the solution for Ebola and antimicrobial resistance will be found in the research labs of big pharmaceutical companies working together with academic institutions and others. Without protection for innovation and without patents there will be no future innovation, according to Cueni, who underlined the importance of the recognition of property. The respect of rights is the main factor contributing to the distinction between rich and poor countries, he said. Cueni said that an improvement in access to medicines is required, and the pharmaceutical industry needs to live up the expectations of society. The pharmaceutical industry has really changed, but despite the major shift in how pharmaceutical companies are doing business, a further change is still needed, he said. Partnerships have been established, for instance, in the sector of malaria medicines, Cueni said. The world is moving and the pharmaceutical industry needs to move with the world, he said. Elise De Geyter is an intern at Intellectual Property Watch and a candidate for the LLM Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the National University of Singapore (class 2017). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Elise De Geyter may be reached at email@example.com."WIPO’s Gurry: Artificial Intelligence, Gene Editing Latest ‘Winners’ In Innovation" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.