InnoScot Health backs World Intellectual Property Day aim of ‘building common future’ through innovation 

Executive Chair of InnoScot Health, Graham Watson

THE annual day champions the role which intellectual property (IP) rights – patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright – play in encouraging innovation and creativity, while empowering entrepreneurs by protecting their ideas. 

This year, organiser the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is focusing on encouraging and amplifying “the innovative and creative solutions that are so crucial to building our common future” in order to help achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

WIPO believes that the SDGs “are a blueprint for people, peace, prosperity and our planet” but also notes that “the challenges we face are deep-seated and complex” with the Scottish Government united in the global aim of achieving them by 2030. 

Executive Chair of InnoScot Health, Graham Watson said: “This week, World Intellectual Property Day will be rightly conveying an urgent message – that we must act swiftly on the UN’s SDGs by using our imagination, ingenuity, and determination to realise a better, healthier, more innovative future. 

“Such ground-breaking work across all regions can only be achieved with the underpinning protection of IP which can help foster the inclusive innovation and creativity we need, in turn generating income, creating jobs, and tackling local and global development challenges. 

“WIPO notes that the 17 SDGs are interdependent – that action in one area creates a knock-on effect for outcomes in others. 

“InnoScot Health believes that its drive to encourage greener healthcare innovation from a diverse wellspring of NHS Scotland staff holds the same promise. If we can get the sustainable balance right within the NHS as we strive for Net Zero by 2040, then Scottish society will benefit and less demand will be placed on the health service, creating better wellbeing and prosperity.” 

Without ownership over the IP of what has been created or invented, anyone, regardless of permission, can use and adapt that idea without adequately compensating the inventor(s). 

Protecting IP is therefore crucial to ideas originating from NHS Scotland. It secures the interests of both the health professional/inventor, and the health board. 

It is also one of the key services which InnoScot Health offers to health boards across Scotland, ensuring the NHS is protected in commercial negotiations, with skilled, experienced individuals able to advise and provide support throughout this process. 

Over the years, InnoScot Health has protected the intellectual property in its many forms including patents, trademarks, copyright, and design rights of over 250 NHS inventions. 

Against the backdrop of NHS Scotland recovery aims, this strong framework will continue to support the NHS as it adapts, evolves, and accelerates the development of the leading healthcare innovations of tomorrow. 

Fiona Schaefer, Innovation Manager at InnoScot Health, said: “This #WorldIPDay, NHS Scotland remains a powerful driver of innovation. Its entrepreneurial-minded workforce is often best placed to recognise areas for improvement – the reason why a significant number of solutions come from, and are best developed with, its staff. 

“In order to fully harness those ideas, an effective IP approach is key to unlocking and protecting the true power and potential of the knowledge within as we continue to focus on the NHS recovery process, Net Zero 2040, and the UN’s SDGs. 

“Indeed, anything of worth should be protected as soon as possible, making for ownership in the same sense as possessing physical property while creating valuable assets.” 

Intellectual property advice is part of a range of services and support offered by InnoScot Health. Its range of themed innovation calls are designed to inspire and harness the knowledge and expertise of health and social care professionals across Scotland to develop innovative solutions in response to challenges such as sustainability, pregnancy and perinatal, and ophthalmology. 

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