Building a global intellectual property hub

Back in 2013, Singapore laid out the Intellectual Property Hub Master Plan , a 10-year plan which sets out the vision of Singapore as a global IP hub in Asia. 

It identifies three strategic outcomes that Singapore should work towards, and two supporting enablers that are essential to achieve them.

  • IP transactions and management - 

where companies use Singapore as a base to manage and transact IP internationally;

  • Quality IP filings - 

where companies register their IP in Singapore, utilise Singapore's IP services and infrastructure, and leverage Singapore as a gateway to secure IP protection in key markets all over the world; and

  • IP dispute resolution - 

where IP disputes are brought to Singapore for expeditious and effective resolution through litigation or alternative dispute resolution.

To achieve these outcomes, Singapore have developed:

  • Skilled manpower resources networked to the region and beyond - 

to effectively serve the international needs of companies; and

  • A conducive and progressive environment for IP activities - 

to strengthen international acclaim of Singapore as a vibrant IP hub and establish Singapore as a thought leader in IP.

"The Singapore IP Strategy 2030 (SIPS 2030) will position Singapore as a global hub for IA and Intelletual Property (IP) activities to capture new opportunities", says Minister Indrajee Singh, "SIPS 2030 will also focus on helping enterprises accelerate business growth as they tap up on the unrealised potential of their IA/IP."

Developing a global hub for Intangible Assets and Intellectual Property 

SIPS 2020 wil help ensure Singapore remains a conducive environment for businesses to protect, manage and transact their IA/IP.  It sees more coordinated IA/IP initiatives at the whole-of-government level, a world-class IA/IP regime that stays ahead of technological advancements, and wider global linkages and cooperation programes. This enhances the "trust premium" that is highly valued by global companies, which makes Singapore an attractive destination of choice for foreign invesetments.

"While traditionally seen as a legal or technical funciton, IA/IP management is increasingly becoming an essential part of strategic management decisions as it impacts shareholder value", says Minister Edwin Tong.

Enabling Innovative Enterprises to use their IA/IP for growth 

Singapore is focusing efforts on holistic IA/IP enterprise inititives, such as public-private partnership programmes to enhance IA/IP awareness, protection and commercialisation, enhanced IA/IP services to make it easier and faster to enterprises to manage their IA/IP.

One way would be to support arts and entertainment sectors pivot to digital platforms, ensuring they are supported as they navigate towards unfamilar IA/IP issues in this space. 

Singapore is looking at IA/IP monetisation, collaterisation and financing to help enterprises unlock IA/IP value to generate cashflow. Several initiatives, including a focus on valuation, should help build Singapore's ecosystem for IA/IP financing and transactions, and secure Singapore's continued relevance as a key financial hub. 

Creating opportunities through IA/IP skills

Singapore is a hot-bed for IA/IP-intensive companies and they help local companies move up the value chain. IA/IP management skills thus would become essential to help enterprises maximise their IA/IP.

IA/IP management has far-reaching effects on an enterprise's product development, go-to-market decisions and strategic partnerships, with implications on its bottom line. 

Singapore, through SIPS 2030, plans to nurture an IA/IP-savvy workforce and equip leaders with knowledge and skills to optimise their organisations' IA/IP, as well as develop national standards for IA/IP management.

Charting the future with IP

The government of Singapore is adamant about realising down-stream benefits that comes with having IA/IP. It recognises that as operating environment evolves, it will develop Singaporeans to be more digitally resilent, a key theme that has emerged during Emerging Stronger programs  and conversations held during the pandemic. 

SIPS 2030 is spearheaded by an inter-governmental committee. The broad representation of agencies underscores the relevance of IA/IP across multiple industry sectors and functional domains, including research and innovation, product development, finance, trade, law and human resources.

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The next few years will see guidelines for IA/IP being changed to further leverage IA/IP to support economic and job growth.

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