The United Nations designated April 21 as World Creativity and Innovation Day to raise global awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development. Since last year’s observance, we’ve been in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we wanted to highlight the broad ways we have seen coronavirus-related innovation help address the pandemic – including efforts aimed at prevention, diagnostics and treatment.
- One of IP Progress’ first articles following the World Health Organization’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic showcased four distinct inventions and highlighted what was at that point dozens of treatments and vaccines in development. (Today, the current tally is nearly 600.) The innovations featured covered multiple categories and came from all corners of the world. These examples demonstrated how innovators were able to jump right into combatting the pandemic thanks to the knowledge-building and collaboration tactics enabled and supported by intellectual property.
- Innovators got creative around prevention to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This novel light-emitting robot has helped kill harmful microorganisms that spread disease. A very different invention – a contactless soap dispenser designed for use without a power source – showcases the depth and breadth of innovation that quickly emerged during the pandemic.
- Other innovators sought diagnostic solutions for the novel coronavirus in an effort to better understand and control its spread. Highlights from the wide range of innovations include a secure data platform accessible in even remote locales, rapid testing technology that harnesses the activity of plants that produce antigens and antibodies and sea snail enzymes, and cutting-edge optical sensors to support better diagnostics.
- Treatments have undoubtedly played a key role in combatting coronavirus as well. We have highlighted cutting-edge, IP-enabled technology that helps COVID-19 patients breathe easier under professional care, and collaborations within the private sector and across the public and private sectors to develop vaccines and treatments that can help end the pandemic.
World Creativity and Innovation Day reminds us of two key truths: that innovators can help us solve global challenges, and that intellectual property helps fuel the collaboration and innovation needed to do so.
The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased inventors’ ability to tackle new challenges with new ideas and inventions. Their work has instilled hope that we will have the tools to curb COVID-19. World Creativity and Innovation Day reminds us of two key truths: that innovators can help us solve global challenges, and that intellectual property helps fuel the collaboration and innovation needed to do so.