2022 continued to underscore the important role innovation plays in solving major global challenges and advancing society. The world was able to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through innovation, including vaccines and treatments, and witnessed how to these products . Despite all the progress made in the fight against the pandemic and advances in other areas, experts have underscored how the IP climate has become more challenging for innovators, threatening future progress. Here are three key takeaways from 2022:
Innovation propels society forward.
While COVID-19 innovation continued in 2022, there were many other new advancements to celebrate. World IP Day acknowledged the potential of young people to improve the world and those already making an impact. And advancements in everything from packaging to wildlife and environmental protection and inclusive fashion design have made a tangible difference. These are just some examples of the benefits of incentivizing and protecting innovators and their work.
Experts and lived experience shows how IP continues to deliver.
The decision to waive IP rights on COVID-19 vaccines was harmful and unnecessary. Clear and predictable IP rights facilitated collaboration among biopharmaceutical innovators and enabled the rapid licensing and sharing of technology to accelerate research and manufacturing of COVID-19 treatments. Indeed, the debate over IP protections only distracts from focusing on the real barriers that need to be addressed in order to achieve equitable access. In fact, 25 civil societies underscored for innovation and pandemic preparedness.
We must focus on the longstanding and real barriers standing between people and innovation.
As the year has played out, the COVID-19 vaccines waiver has proven to be harmful. Instead, the decision has only served to weaken the very innovation ecosystem that has enabled the innovation necessary to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing real barriers like last-mile distribution, inadequate infrastructure, supply chain challenges and more will help increase access to innovative solutions. Leaders need to focus attention on these barriers and set the world up for success.
This year continued to underscore the important role innovation plays in solving major global challenges and advancing society.