The Intellectual Property in the Innovation System

Date: March, 20, 2019 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

An innovation system is an integrated and interconnected network of institutions and actors which, together, produce, diffuse and apply knowledge for economic and societal good. The two main pillars of this system are the research base of a country and its enterprise sector.
The government is also an important actor as a facilitator and an innovator in its own right. The intellectual property system plays an important role in this framework.  

This webinar will look at the role played by intellectual property system in facilitating an innovative economy and the services provided by WIPO in supporting its member states make more effective use of the intellectual property.

Relator: Mr. Giovanni Napolitano & Ms. Tamara Nanayakkara

Deputy-Director & Counsellor | Transition and Developed Countries Department | WIPO

Mr. Giovanni Napolitano graduated in economics in 1985 and received his Master’s Degree in Science and Technology Policy from the Science Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex, UK) in 1987. After 7 years spent at the Italian National Research Council working on science policy matters, he joined the Italian Competition Authority in 1994. He worked there in different capacities, first handling investigations in the communications, transport and pharmaceutical sectors and then holding managerial positions as director of the Authority’s Secretariat and of the International Affairs Department. In November 2010, he joined the Intellectual Property and Competition Policy Division of the WIPO (United Nations) where he works on policy issues concerning the IP/Competition interface. Between 2015 and 2017, he was Acting Director of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Support Division (SESD). Since June 2018, he is Deputy-Director of the Transition and Developed Countries Department (TDC).

Ms. Tamara Nanayakkara is Counsellor at the SMEs and Entrepreneurship Support Division, Department for Transition and Developed Countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland. Since she joined WIPO in January 1994 she worked in the Cooperation for Development Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Economic Analysis, Forecast and Research Division and the Least Developed Countries Division. Before joining WIPO she worked as an Attorney at Law and as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. She holds a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and a Master's Degree in International Management from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Artificial Intelligence, Robots and SMEs: Possibilities, Problems and Prospects

Date: February, 13, 2019 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

When we refer to Artificial Intelligence (AI) we are using short hand to define technologies including natural language processing, image recognition, machine learning (ML), data analytics, cognitive computing, and more. Many observers argue that this AI space has the potential to change everything from industrial processes to social media networks in use today, and for all our futures to be defined by access to these systems.Likewise when we think of Robots we are considering quickly deployable, task-agnostic, smaller, mobile machines that accompany humans at work or at play. Both AI and Robots reflect a radically transformative world of production and service provision through industrial automation. The technological shift that is occurring affects large, medium and small firms, but in different ways. As the world of business relies increasingly on small runs, fast logistics, and flexible operations, how will SMEs be affected? How can the SME population take advantage of these shifts given their resource constraints? This webinar will explore how these new, dynamic technologies can enhance the SME effect positively by being ‘smarter’, ‘healthier’ and ‘richer’ firms equipped with productive AI and Robots. It will also investigate how SME owner-managers can prepare for the disruption of jobs that SMEs specialize in, data management, supply chains, dependence on larger firm contracts, and reduce the threat of being part of a business digital divide of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in accessing and using these technologies.

Relator: Prof. Jay Mitra

Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Essex Business School, University of Essex & Adviser to the Board, Forum for Sustainable New Venture, United Kingdom

Jay Mitra is Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation and Director of the Venture Academy at Essex Business School, University of Essex. He has acted as a Scientific Adviser to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) as the Head of the Scientific Committee on Entrepreneurship for the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and the LEED (Local Economic and Employment Development) Programme at its Trento Centre and in Paris. He is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Luneburg, Germany, a has been a Visiting Professor at University Externado, Colombia, the Institute of Management Technology, India, the School of Management, Fudan University, and the School of Public Policy at Jilin University, both in China, and at Bologna University, Italy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK. Jay Mitra also leads the International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) a unique network and forum for researchers, policy makers and business practitioners working on entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development issues ( He is the editor of the new Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies’ published by Sage.

Me Too, I can become a Woman Angel Investor!

Date: January, 22, 2019 | From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. - CET

Who said angels had no sex? Business angels are essentially male with only 5-15% women investors in angel networks across Europe. Angels may be getting younger over the past years as more entrepreneurs start investing while still in business or retire early but want to play a role as equity holder, board member, mentor and coach for budding SMEs. But women angels remain scarce. And yet their contribution to the real economy could simply double the flows of finance that can support start-ups and scale-ups in Europe. At a time when European feel their ecosystem lags not only the US but also increasingly Asia, when 45% of European nuggets seem to find IPO exits better, simpler and faster the other side of the Atlantic, it is urgent to stimulate female investment and to engage with more women. How to start, how to grow, how to mitigate risks: we will discuss how women can take the step, drawing from unique research on motivation and obstacles to women angel investing across European countries. We will benchmark with the US and share tips for SMEs how to pitch to angel investors, men and women specifically.

Relator: Mrs. Marie-Elisabeth Rusling

CEO & Board Member, Business Angels Europe (BAE)

Marie-Elisabeth Rusling is the CEO and a Board Member of Business Angels Europe (BAE), representing the most active angel networks in Europe and over 43 000 business angels towards the EU and in the early stage investment market. Every year, BAE member networks invest over €2.5 bn in the European economy, funding and accompanying top innovators and start-ups. Based in Brussels for over 20 years, Marie-Elisabeth has coordinated numerous European programmes to support SMEs – from access to finance to internationalisation, from innovation to environment - at EUROCHAMBRES and CCI FRANCE. Leading multinational teams and managing complex expert networks across the EU and beyond she has built solid management expertise and partnerships while acting as a sherpa for numerous European SMEs eager to engage with EU programmes and decision makers. She also coaches start-ups on EU opportunities and pitching to investors, sits on European jury panels dedicated to innovation (SME Instrument II, Youth essay competition). An associate at Low Europe, an EU affair consultancy and a SME founder and director, she also enjoys supporting students in their career choices as an advisor and coach. Marie-Elisabeth holds Masters Degrees in International Management from ESCP- EUROPE Business School (Diplôme des Grandes Ecoles / DiplomKauffrau), and in Literature and Languages from La Sorbonne University. She has lived and worked in Austria, Germany, France and in the UK.