World leaders recently convened at the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit, culminating a year focused on three, interconnected areas for action – People, Planet and Prosperity. The emphasis in these areas continued to be through the lens of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including efforts to provide equitable, worldwide access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines while preparing for future health crises. Continuing to foster and support innovation will be key in countries’ efforts to achieve their vision of progress in these areas and beyond.
We’ve seen firsthand the amazing progress innovators have made in addressing the coronavirus pandemic. These achievements help showcase other ways a strong innovation system can support the three priorities of the G20:
- People: Intellectual property (IP) rights help individuals reach their full potential by brining ideas to innovations that can improve the lives of others worldwide. Just recently, we’ve featured doctors and biomedical engineers improve hearing loss, advance regenerative tissue engineer and empower future generations of inventors. We’ve also featured inventors who’ve improved wellbeing in their communities, such as a running shoe entrepreneur. With each invention, these innovators are improving the lives of those they serve.
- Planet: As discussed broadly with World IP Day 2020's focus on green innovation, inventors are helping make our world a cleaner, more prosperous planet every day. Whether removing trash from our oceans, cleaning the air we breathe or helping to phase out single-use plastics, innovators are pushing the limits of what’s possible to make the world a safer, greener place and should be at the center of helping to address climate change.
- Prosperity: Innovative industries drive both economic and personal growth. For example, in the United States, the direct and indirect impacts of innovation account for 40% of economic growth and employment; in the European Union, 39% of jobs are tied to innovative industries. Innovation also supports individual prosperity; for example, the average U.S. worker in an IP-intensive industry makes about 46% more than a counterpart in a non-IP industry. In the EU, that wage premium is 47%.
Innovation continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible and improve the lives of individuals around the globe. IP rights provide the proper incentives and protections to keep the often-risky process of innovating going strong in markets throughout the world. As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, by continuing to invest in innovative industries and uphold the rights afforded to innovators, we can solve challenges big and small.
As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, by continuing to invest in innovative industries and uphold the rights afforded to innovators, we can solve challenges big and small.