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

H.E. Ambassador Dr Pimchanok PITFIELD
367.  I would like to thank the United States for preparing this paper which Singapore is pleased to co-sponsor. 368.  For the past few decades, Singapore has made steady progress towards becoming an innovation-driven economy. Our national Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 and 2025 plans committed SGD 19 billion and SGD 25 billion respectively to grow our research and innovation ecosystem, and establish Singapore as a global innovation hub. 369.  Today, Singapore is increasingly recognized as a global hub for innovation. In 2022, the Global Innovation Index ranked Singapore as the world's 7th most-innovative economy in the world. 370.  Singapore also plays host to an increasing number of international collaborations. For example, through the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), Singapore is well-connected to many other innovation nodes in the region and the world. Under the GIA, Co-Innovation programmes are run with partners in more than 35 countries. 371.  A recent Singapore study with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on innovation hotspots using patent data found that international collaboration in the field of research has been increasing. From 2001 to 2020, the number of co-invented patents involving cross-border collaborations rose about four-fold to around 3,000. Over the same period, the number of patents generated by foreign enterprises grew from 44.2% to 54.6% of all patents where at least one inventor is a Singapore resident, highlighting the steady rise of international collaborations in research and innovation. 372.  This rise in international collaborations has helped to bolster Singapore's economy through foreign direct investments, a key economic driver given our small domestic market. MNCs such as Dyson, Procter & Gamble and Infineon Technologies, have all established R&D centres in Singapore. 373.  In December 2022, American semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials announced its "Singapore 2030" plan, which includes broadening its technology ecosystem partnership with and building a SGD 600 million plant in Singapore. This expansion is estimated to directly create around 1,000 new jobs in manufacturing and R&D, and will deepen Singapore's role as a critical node in the global semiconductor supply chain. 374.  In addition, international collaboration projects, such as the UK-Singapore Collaborative R&D Call which subsides project costs for start-ups/SMEs, are another way the benefits of innovation can be brought to enterprises regardless of market size. One local company that benefited from this initiative is Aliena, a Singapore space-tech start-up that partnered with researchers from Imperial College London and UK-based aerospace firm, URA Thrusters. Aliena's new hollow cathode technology enables a more sustainable alternative to conventional satellite engines that run on fuel. This collaboration with international partners has allowed it to bring its technology to the market expeditiously, with its thrusters being used on SpaceX's rocket launch in January 2022. 375.  The advent of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and generative artificial intelligence, will call for international communities to land on a common understanding of their benefits and impacts to unlock their full potential. 376.  Singapore is committed to working with our partners, both locally and abroad, to catalyze Singapore's innovation and IP ecosystem for businesses, innovators, and creators.
The Council took note of the statements made.
67. The Chair said that this item had been put on the agenda at the request of the delegations of Australia; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; 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.
68. The representatives of Chinese Taipei; the United States of America; Australia; Singapore; Japan; the United Kingdom; Hong Kong, China; Switzerland; Canada; the European Union; Indonesia; Djibouti, on behalf of the LDC Group; and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) took the floor.
69. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/108, IP/C/M/108/Add.1