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Celebrating World IP Day in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is home to nine percent of the global population and is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. But to realize its full potential, the region must embrace modern approaches to intellectual property (IP) that encourage investment in innovative ideas. This World IP Day, celebrating the theme “Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity,” we explore why IP is essential and women who are leading advancements that strengthen the region.

Strong IP rights create an environment that promotes innovation across industries. For example, it can take an average of 12 years and extraordinary amounts of research and development to bring a new medicine or treatment to market. IP rights support that commitment by ensuring innovators are rewarded for their efforts. One such way is through patents, which create temporary property rights for new technologies, products and processes.

The benefits of IP rights extend beyond the inventors themselves. Robust protection of IP helps expand access to new developments and provides incentives for competition, accelerating the entry of new products and technologies to market. Additionally, IP protections spur investment in future inventions, ensuring an ongoing and healthy cycle of innovation.

This year’s World IP Day theme celebrates the women harnessing the power of IP to make groundbreaking advancements in dynamic fields, including science, business, and art. Women across Southeast Asia are fueling economic growth by driving innovations in key areas like health and sustainability, including:

  • Carina Joe, an Indonesian researcher, helped lead development of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Ella Trinh is the co-founder of Vulcan Augmetics, a Vietnam-based biotech research firm that produces high-functioning prosthetics for amputees.
  • Merlinda A. Palencia, founder of Envigor Natural Products Manufacturing Inc., created an organic process for cleaning wastewater for irrigation purposes across the Philippines.
  • Tamal Lata Aditya of Bangladesh helped develop several varieties of rice that can tolerate drought, enhancing agricultural production across the country and region.

World IP Day underscores the pivotal role of IP in fostering advancements that move society forward. This year, we reflect on the critical role of IP in enhancing Southeast Asia’s economic standing on the world stage and how women across the region are helping usher in a new era of opportunity.

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