WIPO has opened the 2023 edition of its Global Awards program, seeking small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) candidates from around the world that use intellectual property (IP)-backed innovation and creativity in an exceptional manner to achieve business goals and improve society.
WIPO’s Global Awards 2023 are open to SME applicants of the entire range of business activity – the creative industries, local and international brands, innovative technological providers, and all others.
An independent jury of renowned experts will select up to seven winners from a shortlist of 20 nominees based on a range of criteria, including the successful commercialization of IP and its positive contribution to society. Diversity of the contenders is also considered.
Winners receive a tailored 1:1 mentoring package to support their IP strategies – including funding facilitation, partnership opportunities, and publicity support. Winners will receive their awards at a ceremony at WIPO’s Geneva headquarters during WIPO’s General Assembly in July 2023.
“WIPO’s Global Awards program recognizes enterprises and individuals that bring great new products and services to market, creating jobs that support communities while improving our world through their work,” said WIPO Director General Daren Tang. “Our hope is that in recognizing the IP-centered achievements of SMEs, we will encourage greater numbers of businesses and entrepreneurs to use IP strategically in taking their ideas to market.”
The Global Awards “are a way to amplify the importance of intellectual property as an asset. And the only concern I have for those in Africa or anywhere in the developing world, for that matter, is not to be afraid to thrive,” says Julius Akinyemi of Nigeria, awards juror and Entrepreneur In Residence at the MIT Media Lab.
“Young entrepreneurs ought to want to be competing for this. It’s a great way to get recognized. But in addition to that, it’s a mechanism that can help them grow whatever trade they have,” says jury member Dr. Amin Badr-El-Din, of Jordan, a strategist and investor.
“All inventors out there, I have a secret, you know, that the world is much smaller than you think and your idea is much bigger than you think. So bring your idea to our competition and see how your invention can go global,” says Karoli Hindriks, of Estonia, an awards juror and startup founder.