571. The EU delegation is pleased to co-sponsor this agenda item together with the delegations of Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We thank in particular the US for the active role in the drafting of the document submitted this time to the TRIPS Council. For the EU, the promotion of gender equity and equality and women's rights are not only a core value but smart economics. When women have access to resources and opportunities and participate on an equal footing in economic life, including innovations, it both benefits women themselves, and also contributes to economic growth.
572. The EU invests not only in research but also in gender-sensitive innovation systems to ensure that the benefits from research are available and accessible to both men and women. This means that men and women participate equally in the innovation systems in different capacities: as researchers, extension workers, decision makers and beneficiaries. We know that gender diversity is essential for creativity and innovation but while more and more women are reaching senior levels in science and engineering, the aspiration of reaching gender equality is not yet fulfilled.
573. There are still critical barriers and constraints to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the European scientific system and in the world as well. This gender segregation has its roots in the subject choices made by girls in secondary schools and in university, but also female graduates often opt out of science after they have completed a PhD. The "She Figures" publication is the main pan European source of comparable statistics on the state of gender equality in research and innovation. As the US colleague mentioned, statistics are very important.
574. "She Figures" highlight in 2020 that:
a. women occupy only 24% of top academic positions;
b. women are still under-represented in the STEM fields; and
c. women represent less than 10% of patent holders.
575. On top of these figures, data shows also that only 15% of innovative start-ups are founded or co-founded by women, and a mere 6% have all-women founding teams. These women-led businesses raise less venture capital than their male-only counterparts, including at the vital earlystage investments and the amounts that they raise tend to be lower. Across Europe only around 5% of venture capital goes to mixed teams and only 2% to all-female teams. Many structural barriers to gender equality in research and innovation persist which results in an underrepresentation of women among right holders. That is the observation we can make.
576. The EU works on finding effective mechanisms to make science and technology more attractive to young women and to encourage workplace environment and institutional practices that value the participation of girls and young women in the field of science and technology jobs. The European Commission addresses the barriers through the main funding instrument Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027) including the EU Prize for Women Innovators and, within the European Research Area in collaboration with Member countries (EU MS and other European countries, including EFTA) and research organisations as well. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has also launched a Study on the role and involvement of women in the communitybased industries related to IPR in ASEAN and Spain has developed programmes to promote female digital entrepreneurship and innovative entrepreneurship of women.
577. With Horizon Europe, the Commission reaffirms its commitment to gender equality in research and innovation which results in more right-holders' women. The legal base sets gender equality as a crosscutting priority and introduces strengthened provisions. There are three main levels at which gender equality is considered in Horizon Europe having a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) in place becomes an eligibility criterion for certain categories of legal entities from EU countries and associated countries the integration of the gender dimension into research and innovation content is a requirement by default, an award criterion evaluated under the excellence criterion, unless the topic description explicitly specifies otherwise increasing gender balance throughout the programme is another objective, with a target of 50% women in Horizon Europe related boards, expert groups and evaluation committees.
578. Furthermore, specific funding is dedicated to gender and intersectional research, in particular in the programme Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society, to developing inclusive gender equality policies in support of the new European Research Area. Horizon Europe has recently launched a scheme 'Women TechEU' which is currently open with a deadline next 10 November.
EU Prize for Women Innovators
579. The EU Prize for Women Innovators celebrates the women entrepreneurs behind gamechanging innovations. The prize is funded under Horizon 2020, now Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme. In doing so, the EU seeks to raise awareness of the need for more women innovators and create role models for women and girls everywhere. In 2020, Madiha Derouazi (Switzerland), founder and CEO of Amal Therapeutics, a company developing therapeutic cancer vaccines and Maria Fátima Lucas (Portugal), co-founder and CEO of Zymvol Biomodeling, a company developing computer-designed industrial enzymes by applying molecular modelling were awarded.
European Research Area (ERA)
580. Gender equality in research and innovation is a priority of the European Research Area (ERA). The recent communication on this ERA includes a common action between the EU, EU countries and countries associated with Horizon 2020, to strengthen gender equality provisions. Action 12 asks the EU and EU countries to develop concrete plans to promote gender equality, diversity, and inclusiveness in science, research, and innovation. The European Commission has set three objectives to work with EU countries and foster an institutional change:
a. gender equality in scientific careers;
b. gender balance in decision making; and
c. integration of the gender dimension into the content of research and innovation.
581. The ARISE Plus Intellectual Property Rights (ARISE+ IPR) programme is one of the components under the Enhanced ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the European Union.
582. One Spanish Programme consists in a new line of financing aimed at promoting innovative entrepreneurship by women. This measure is managed by the CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial). Recently established companies, whose promoter team is made up of women in at least 51% and whose capital stock is in the hands of women in at least 51% at the end of the project, would be able to access these grants. Furthermore, ICEX España Exportaciones e Inversiones created a platform with the aim of providing female entrepreneurs, businesswomen and managers with access to training, advisory services, information, and other available resources to support their international project, including IP valorisation.
583. There are many examples in the EU from Germany, in France, in Poland and other countries. I am still available to explain more on the support, EU Member States and the EU brings to these problematic and issues.