Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
European Union
365.   The EU would like to thank the United States and Singapore for introducing the two respective papers for this agenda point to which we are a co-sponsor. 366.   Intellectual property rights are the main commercialisation tool of R&D activities and can be seen as the value R&D creates. The commercialisation of R&D is fundamental in creating economic growth. Two-thirds of economic growth in Europe from 1995 to 2007 derived from R&D. 367.   The main umbrella programme enabling public-private research collaboration in the EU aiming at leveraging R&D is the Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 is delivering scientific impacts through the reinforcement of research and innovation capabilities, scientific excellence and through the integration of research and innovation with as well as supporting private sector participants in their efforts in commercialisation. Horizon 2020 projects have the potential to generate a large number of scientific breakthroughs; researchers have already contributed to major discoveries like exoplanets, the Higgs boson and gravitational waves. At least 17 Nobel Prize research got support from Horizon 2020 prior or after the award. 368.   Horizon 2020 builds cross-sectoral, inter-disciplinary, intra- and extra-European networks. The Horizon 2020 programme is successful in attracting and involving the private sector (33.2%), a necessary precondition for the achievement of innovation and economic impact. In particular, Horizon 2020 attracts and involves many SMEs, the backbone of the European economy. Horizon 2020 is creating networks between businesses, and between the business sector, universities and research institutions, also allowing them to make better use of the IP system, which is of huge importance to bringing knowledge quickly to market. Horizon 2020 provides companies, and in particular SMEs, with access to risk finance to carry out their innovation projects. 5,700 organisations have been funded under the Access to Risk Finance programme part (EUR 13 billion of private funds leveraged; EUR 29.6 billion of investments mobilised via debt financing); numerous SMEs are taking part in the SME Instrument until end-2016 secured a total of EUR 481 million of venture capital during or after the project, also with the intellectual property rights they developed. 369.   Horizon 2020 generates large numbers of high quality, commercially valuable patents and other intellectual property rights, so far mainly from the SME Instrument. Horizon 2020 also generates proofs of concept and demonstrators and supports the deployment of innovative solutions supporting the commercialisation and diffusion of innovation, including hundreds of prototypes and testing activities, as well as numerous clinical trials. 370.   Horizon 2020 projects produce new knowledge, strengthen capabilities, and generate a wide range of innovation outputs including new technologies, products, services and the related intellectual rights: 563 firms have been introducing innovations new to the market (56% SMEs) and more than half of SME Instrument Phase 2 beneficiaries have already reached the market. 371.   Every euro invested under Horizon 2020 brings an estimated GDP increase of EUR 6 to 8.5. This means EUR 400 to EUR 600 billion by 2030. 372.   Many of the Horizon 2020 supported projects demonstrate potential in terms of generating breakthrough, market creating innovation. A quarter of the ongoing Innovation Actions are regarded as having breakthrough, market creating potential. Let me therefore finish with two concrete examples that show the positive global impact of the Horizon 2020 programmes also beyond Europe: 373.   The first Horizon 2020 project is producing bioethanol from steelmaking process emissions. The project STEELANOL demonstrates the industrial production of bioethanol from emissions of the steelmaking process, which has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to oil-derived fuels. A demonstration plant of approximately 25,000 tons/ethanol per year will be built in Belgium; the largest facility built to date utilizing this technology globally. This highrisk/high-impact project is expected to contribute to achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate and advancing the circular economy. 374.   The second project is on public-private partnership in the pharma sector. The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was one of the international health emergencies of the past few years. EUR 24.4 million from Horizon 2020 were urgently mobilised. In parallel, the IMI-Ebola+ publicprivate partnership call was launched in record time. This Horizon 2020 research response, very significant in scale, with a total of EUR 140 million, in turn, leveraged a further EUR 101 million from the pharmaceutical industry. Without the possibility to use IP, such additional private funds would have been very unlikely to have been mobilised. These joint efforts are already delivering, with trials on the ground in West Africa and with the first indication of results. 375.   We therefore would like to conclude that in the EU public-private partnerships in R&D play a fundamental role in support of innovation and allowing the development of intellectual property rights, ultimately necessary for the successful commercialisation of private innovation. Only when all forces, public and private alike, are mobilised, can we fully leverage the global innovation capacities needed for the desired outcome of economic development and the tackling of our joint global challenges.
34.   The Chair said that the item had been put on the agenda at the request of Australia; Canada, Chile; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; and the United States of America. It covered two aspects of the broader topic of IP and innovation:
a. "The societal value of IP in the New Economy", a topic that the Council had discussed at its meetings last year. A relevant communication has been submitted to facilitate discussion (IP/C/W/650); and
b. "Public-Private Collaborations in Innovation", a theme proposed by the co-sponsors for 2019. A relevant communication had been submitted to facilitate discussion (IP/C/W/652 and Add.1).
35.   The representatives of the United States of America; Singapore; Australia; Switzerland; New Zealand; Chinese Taipei; Chile; South Africa; Hong Kong; China; Canada; Japan; Mexico; the European Union; the Republic of Korea; Brazil; China; India and the Dominican Republic took the floor.
36.   The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1