SMEs to get support for intellectual property to grow their businesses

(From left) SMF president Lennon Tan, Wipo director-general Daren Tang and SIPI chairperson Audrey Yap signed an agreement at the SMF building in Bukit Merah on Aug 24, 2022. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANUFACTURING FEDERATION/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Small and medium enterprises here will soon get expert help on ways to become more competitive through their intellectual property.

An agreement signed on Wednesday (Aug 24) between the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), and the Singapore Innovation and Productivity Institute will see 57 SMF members enter into a pilot programme at the end of the third quarter this year.

SMF currently covers a range of firms under different sectors, such as precision engineering, media technology and apparel.

The agreement, which was signed at the SMF Building in Bukit Merah, will allow the use of the World Intellectual Property Organisation's IP diagnostics toolkit and IP for business series of guides by the Singapore Innovation and Productivity Institute and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

The members will be able to use these tools to seek a clearer understanding of where their companies' IP stands from a business perspective, based on how well versed they are with the field.

The toolkit requires a user to fill out a questionnaire and share relevant information about their companies so they are able to find a customised strategy best suited for the company, while the series guide includes material on issues of IP management.

The toolkit was launched in November last year and has been used by around 3,800 companies around the world and generated more than 1,000 personalised reports.

Director-general of World Intellectual Property Organisation Daren Tang said in his opening address that IP management is critical for companies to realise their ambitions, and to be able to innovate, grow and bring their products to market.

He added: "It will give members a competitive advantage as they innovate their manufacturing processes to create new cutting-edge products."

IP can also shape marketing branding for products, helping to sell them.

Also in attendance at the signing were five companies who came forward for the pilot programme, including Old Chang Kee and Cori Biotech.

In 2021, the Government launched the Singapore IP Strategy 2030 to strengthen the nation's position as a global hub for IP activities and transactions. The Strategy also aims to attract and grow innovative enterprises, while allowing them to develop good jobs and skills in IP.

Singapore Innovation and Productivity Institute chairman Audrey Yap said that with World Intellectual Property Organisation's credentials, she hopes SMF members will look to the institute to be a one-stop access point in lending IP knowledge and expertise to their businesses.

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