Episode 3: Innovations Supporting UN SDGs

Title card for Episode 3 of the Evolving IP Podcast - Innovations Supporting UN SDGs

April 26, 2024

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Episode 3 of the LexisNexis Evolving IP podcast features Chris Harrison, Patent Analytics Manager at the World Intellectual Property Organization

Chris joins us to explore innovation’s role in advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discover how patent analytics drive collaboration for a sustainable future. 

Podcast Host

Podcast Co-Hosts 

Conversation Highlights

An Overview of World IP Day  

World IP Day is a unique opportunity to join with others around the globe to consider how IP helps both the global art scene flourish and enables the technological innovation that drives human progress. 

“WIPO’s mission is the development of a balanced and effective global IP ecosystem that promotes innovation and creativity for a better and more sustainable future. And so, that element of sustainability is within WIPO’s mission statement.”

On the Importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

“Many believe that the SDGs are hanging in the balance, so we’re now halfway towards implementing this agenda by 2030. But many reports suggest we’re perhaps only 15% of the way in terms of the number of goals that are on track. 

“If we are going to achieve the SDGs, we need to do more, we need to do it together, and we need to do it now. 

“To deliver this, we need to harness the innovation and creative potential of humankind. And IP is critical to making that happen. Because IP incentivizes innovation, rewards creativity, and brings new technologies, ideas, and concepts to the market.

“And all of these can help us address common challenges, whether that be climate change or the next pandemic that affects us globally.” 

Why Patent Data?  

“Patents support innovation because of the public nature of the patent system, where details about how the individual inventions work are made publicly available. 

“There’s so much patent data that’s published—millions of different inventions every year. And patent analytics can help us focus our lens on relevant content, ultimately inspiring innovation from there. 

“There are not actually many ways to quantitatively measure progress on these goals. But this new report is one of those. So, we hope it provides a new perspective on tracking advancements toward achieving these SDGs and offers a fresh outlook through which to gauge our collective efforts.”

What Do You Think The Future Holds?

“The SDGs, by their nature, are a blueprint for people, peace, and prosperity for our planet. And just as the challenges that we face are multifaceted and complex, the SDGs are also interdependent. Action in one can affect outcomes in another, and so development efforts must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues. 

“These challenges that we face as a society are deep-seated and complex. So, I think we need to act now. And we need to use all the tools available to us, especially human ingenuity and IP, to achieve that sustainable future for everyone that we’re aiming for.” 

Chris’s Key Takeaway 

“Progress towards the SDGs is essential if we’re ever going to meet them. And innovation is key to that. 

“Innovation, allied with IP rights such as patents, is the way that society can advance towards achieving these goals, in the same way that society has innovated for centuries.

“And although patents can’t tell us exactly how far along we are towards meeting those goals, we hope that this new WIPO Report provides some data-driven evidence that tells us about the levels of innovation within each SDG at this point in time and helps us to quantify the level of inventive activity globally.”

Marco’s Key Takeaway 

“The report highlights that intellectual property and innovations behind patents will be a crucial engine helping the world achieve the SDGs and transition to a truly sustainable future. 

“The patent landscape, mapped to the goals, empowers decision-makers in government, industry, and academia to make more informed and strategic choices about where to allocate resources and foster collaboration. 

“Overall, the report underscores that IP has an important part to play in shaping our common future. As we navigate the complex challenges ahead, patent analytics aligned with sustainability goals can serve as a compass guiding innovators and societies to a more sustainable path.”

Cover of the WIPO SDGs report

Read more about Patents and the Sustainable Development Goals

Discover how innovation is providing crucial insights into the impact of IP in advancing global sustainability efforts.

Download your copy now. 


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