26 April 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

World IP Day: Innovation improves lives

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) director general Francis Gurry has dedicated World IP Day (26 April) to the impact that innovation has on improving quality of life.

He said that innovation, and the technological progress it represents, makes a “significant contribution to economic growth and creates opportunities for new and better jobs”.

Alongside this, he outlined how the introduction of new and exciting technologies, such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and CRISPR gene-editing, have shed a bright light on the future and further progress.

WIPO’s campaign will look at the benefits of these new technologies, for example, how a 3D printer in an American university can regenerate damaged human tissue, and a billboard in Peru can harvest water from the air and supply the local community with clean drinking water.

Gurry said that IP is a “crucial part of a successful innovation system”, providing return for those who take the risk to innovate.

“We are also celebrating all the risk-takers, all those who have dared to bring about positive change through innovation.”

“This year’s campaign is an opportunity for us all to think about what it actually takes to invent something and the challenges associated with that process. It is also a chance for us to consider how we can make innovation really work for the benefit of the whole of society.”

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