Start-ups, SMEs and youth innovators receive support for innovation

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and youth will get more resources to innovate using their Intellectual Property (IP).

They will be able to tap on free IP legal advice, patent drafting and/or prosecution services, resources, and training.

A release by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) detailed three new resources:

IP Start

IP Start will provide free IP advice, training, and resources to start-ups through start-up accelerators and incubators based in Singapore. This will help start-ups to integrate IP management at the early stages of their business. Start-up accelerators and incubators help start-ups in their infancy to succeed by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring, resources, and training.

Enterprises can register for IP Start through the accelerators here. IP Start is managed by IPOS’ subsidiary, IPOS International.

Trade Secrets Guide for Enterprises

guide has been developed to help enterprises better manage their trade secrets. It contains information on what trade secrets are, how they can be protected/ managed, case studies and a list of trade secrets tools available to enterprises.

A 2021 IPOS survey indicated that 98 per cent of businesses recognised that trade secrets were important for business growth, but only 45 per cent took steps to safeguard their trade secrets – mostly due to a lack of knowledge.

The guide was jointly developed by IPOS, Action Community for Entrepreneurship, International Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Business Federation, Singapore Fintech Association and SGTech.

Inventor Assistance Programme (IAP)

The Singapore chapter of the IAP will help youth in tertiary institutions secure patent protection. This will help them navigate the patent system efficiently so that they can focus on bringing their ideas to market.

Five volunteer patent attorneys from the Association of Singapore Patent Attorneys will be participating in the first phase with more expected to join in the future. Young innovators or entrepreneurs can sign up for the IAP by setting up an account with the World Intellectual Property Organization. here. The IAP is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year.

The IAP is a joint initiative between IPOS and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The three initiatives were announced by Minister for Culture, Community & Youth and Second Minister for Law, Edwin Tong SC, at IP Week @ SG 2022, a global IP event. Said Minister Tong: “SMEs play a critical role in the Singapore economy, accounting for 99 per cent of all companies and employing 70 per cent of the local force.

“Start-ups are also important engines of innovation, generating new ideas, products, and services. To reap the full benefits of their innovations, they need to have the expertise and know-how to secure their IP rights. These initiatives will provide innovators with the resources to help them gain a competitive edge.”

During the event, IPOS also signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with various partners to boost global IP cooperation. The partners included the Asia Pacific Institute of Experts (APIEx), The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) and SGInnovate (SGI).