Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi welcomes WIPO Director-General to Sharjah
The two visionaries explore collaboration opportunities for boosting intellectual property rights protection to promote innovation and creativity in Sharjah and beyond
Sharjah, February 20, 2023
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and stalwart of protection and promotion of intellectual property (IP), welcomed Daren Tang, the fifth and current Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to Sharjah.
The President of the AUS, in tandem with the Director General of WIPO, embarked on a consequential tour across the emirate, with the aim of exploring fresh and efficacious avenues of partnership between Sharjah and the World Intellectual Property Organization. The overarching objective of this diplomatic endeavour was to leverage the vast potential of IP as a catalyst for innovation and creativity.
Sheikha Bodour and the Director General of WIPO embarked on a tour of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), where they bore witness to a vibrant ecosystem of innovation-driven enterprises thriving within SRTIP’s free zone and research-oriented milieu. Among the thriving businesses were member startups of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), whose founders engaged with the AUS President and WIPO Director General, as they discussed the importance of patents and trademarks in safeguarding IP and how they can be adapted to the dynamic and fast-paced landscape of today’s knowledge and information-driven society.
As part of the WIPO Director General’s itinerary in Sharjah, he was accompanied by Sheikha Bodour and taken to visit the city’s preeminent epicentres of knowledge-creation, innovation, and creativity, such as the House of Wisdom, a bastion of intellectual and cultural significance. Additionally, the WIPO Director General, met with high-ranking officials at the Kalimat Foundation and the Emirates Reprographic Rights Association (ERRA), as he endeavoured to glean valuable insights on the subject of intellectual property rights from seasoned experts in the field.
Emphasising the importance of the Director General’s visit, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi noted: “The potential of intellectual property rights protection in boosting innovation and creativity and thereby shaping thriving societies and economies globally cannot be overemphasised. Yet intellectual property rights face multifaceted challenges, which require collaborative and strategic actions by the entire stakeholder ecosystem, governments, and legal entities.
Adding to her inspiring words the AUS President stated, “We are meeting at a time of transition and transformation dotted by challenges. We need to pay close attention to how we can turn these into opportunities to strengthen intellectual property rights and translate their contribution to tangible economic and social impact, which can then lead to the creation of a balanced, inclusive and forward-looking intellectual property rights ecosystems in Sharjah, the UAE and beyond.”
Commenting on his visit Daren Tang said: “During my visit to the UAE I saw first-hand how the country is laying the foundations for an entrepreneurship and innovation-based economy. I would like to thank Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi for our fruitful discussions and all her efforts to ensure that IP-backed innovation and creativity thrives in the UAE. I was pleased to meet with young entrepreneurs to talk about how IP can help take their ideas to the market”. He added: “I was also impressed by work being done at the Kalimat Foundation on reducing the gender gap in STEM and at the House of Wisdom that works to ensure that IP underpins the creative industries.”
Being present during the WIPO delegation’s visit to Sharjah: Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park; Dr. Al Yazia Khalifa, President of the Board of ERRA; and Salha Obaid, Treasurer of the board of ERRA. Representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Kalimat Foundation were also in attendance.
The WIPO delegation, included: Hasan Kleib, Deputy Director General of the Regional and National Development Sector (RNDS); Beatriz Amorim-Borher, Director of RNDS Projects; Shaima Al Akel, Program Officer of RNDS Projects; and Luis Enrique Chavez Prado, Associate Program Officer of the Office of Deputy Director General (RNDS), visited Sharjah during this time.