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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Lansana GBERIE

488.   Australia welcomes communication IP/C/W/692 and is pleased to co-sponsor the paper with the friends of IP and innovation. We support the sharing of information on the role IP can play in raising finance for start-ups. This communication provides a useful overview of the many different ways IP can be used to help start-ups access much-needed capital. It highlights key institutional considerations that can facilitate (or, if they are absent, prevent) the development of a wellfunctioning financial IP market. 489.   As an innovative economy, Australia recognises the important role that start-ups play as catalysts for growth and acknowledge the challenges that start-ups face in accessing finance, particularly in the early stages. Start-ups in Australia face some of the specific challenges in accessing financing that are identified in communication IP/C/W/692. 490.   A 2016 report into IP financing in Australia commissioned by Australia's IP office (IP Australia) found that there were no specific innovation-based or IP-based financing products available in Australia at the time. In Australia, start-ups often require funding from multiple sources – funding rarely occurs as a single-lump sum. We have found that equity investment is an important vehicle for financing new and innovative high-risk ventures. This can occur either through professional venture capital firms or 'business angels' which have niche interests. 491.   Australia has several policies and programmes to support the commercialisation of innovation and technology. Australia has a dedicated debt venture fund which aims to grow companies commercialising technological innovation. The Government also encourages venture capital investment and angel investment in early-stage companies through tax incentives for investors 492.   The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) is a $AUD15 billion investment to diversify and transform Australia's industry and economy and includes support to make it easier to commercialise innovation and technology by providing loans, guarantees and equities to drive investments and develop capability in the area. 493.   We look forward to further exchanges with Members on their experiences of IP financing for start-ups in particular, on the different sources of financing for start-ups seeking to commercialise their innovation; and ways we can help both start-ups and venture capital to better understand the opportunities IP offers as part of a business' business plan and as collateral for accessing finance.

The Council took note of the statements made.
84. The Chair said this item had been put on the agenda at the request of the delegations of Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These delegations had also submitted a communication on this topic, circulated in document in order to allow Members to prepare for today's discussion.
85. The representatives of Switzerland; Japan; the United States of America; Australia; Canada; Chinese Taipei; Singapore; the European Union; the United Kingdom; Chile; Hong Kong, China; Uruguay; Mexico; Switzerland; South Africa; India; China; and Indonesia took the floor.
86. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/106, IP/C/M/106/Add.1