The UN’s intellectual property agency said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted certain industries, but it has accelerated certain industries. Despite the virus and lockdowns, innovation continued and even accelerated, AP reports.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established several decades ago to coordinate and approve international patents, trademarks and other intellectual property. after one year of a pandemic caused by the coronavirus, WIPO warned that change in the overall “innovation landscape” was happening too slowly.
At the same time, the UN agency said that a broader array of nations should benefit from it as the world rebuilds after the epidemic ebbs.
Innovation marched forward last year despite the impact of health crises across the globe. Technology, pharmaceuticals and biotech industries boosted their investments, even as hard-hit sectors like transport and travel eased back on spending, WIPO’s latest innovation index report for 2020 said.
The index ranks 132 countries, plus economies such as Hong Kong, and comes a year after WIPO said investments in innovation hit a record high in 2019 — an annualized rate of gain of 8.5 percent.
The organization ranked Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK, and fast-climber South Korea — driven partly from creativity like K-Pop music — as the most innovative economies.
WIPO’s latest innovation index report for 2020
China and France edged up in the rankings, which continue to be dominated by Asia, Europe and North America. In fact, innovation always takes place, WIPO Director General Daren Tang said.
“It comes as no surprise that communications, hardware, software, ICT, these are sectors have done well,” the UN official added.
While the United States and China have largely driven the rise in R&D in recent years, other countries like Turkey, Vietnam, India and the Philippines have been rising consistently in the rankings over the past five years. Switzerland has consistently led the rankings for the past five years.