$1m boost for IP technology sector here

Shanmugam announces plans to certify, groom up to 500 professionals for industry

The Government will invest $1 million to groom up and certify to 500 science, engineering and technology professionals in the next three years to meet the needs of the intellectual property (IP) technology sector.

Also, from Sept 1, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) will serve as a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Authority, thus speeding up and strengthening IP protection for Singapore firms overseas.

A PCT International Authority is a body that can search and examine patent applications filed through the patent authority, an international system.

Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam unveiled these plans yesterday at the fifth Global Forum on Intellectual Property, which was also the official opening of IP Week @ SG 2015.

Speaking at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, he highlighted the importance of this industry, noting how jobs in the IP-intensive sector paid 29 per cent more than positions elsewhere.

So it was of paramount importance to support and protect IP to ensure that people had confidence about it in Singapore.

"This is the way in which the future is being shaped," Mr Shanmugam said.

Besides the $1 million investment, other measures to support IP in Singapore were also announced yesterday, such as the launch of a new IP Technology Consultant Registry.

The Singapore Institute of Technology's Enterprise and Innovation Hub is also working with the IP Academy to offer training to create value through IP.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), together with Ipos, also honoured four Singapore firms for their excellence in innovation and creativity.

Technology firm Stratech Systems won the Wipo-Ipos award for technology patent and was the overall champion.

Education firm MindChamps Holdings won the Ipos award for trade mark portfolio, and Hawaii Furnishing won the Ipos award for design innovation.

Creative Technology won the Wipo users' trophy.

Mr Shanmugam also presented the inaugural SG50 Trade Mark Awards, which honours brands that have been registered in Singapore for more than 50 years and have grown alongside the nation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2015, with the headline '$1m boost for IP technology sector here'. Print Edition | Subscribe