Earlier this month Metis Partners founder, Stephen Robertson, travelled to Kazakhstan to speak at the “National Seminar on IP for SMEs” in Astana. The event was organised by WIPO, the Committee of Intellectual Property Rights and Ministry of Justice, Kazakhstan and Metis Partners on the back of the WIPO initiated project focused on improved support for SMEs in the field of IP. The outcome of this project was a “Guidance” Report produced by Stephen Robertson, Michelle Korman, Josef Geoola and Ron Marchant on behalf of WIPO. The event was an opportunity to test some of the main recommendations in the WIPO Report and discuss how these could be applied to Kazakhstan in relation to the country’s objective of becoming one of the “top 30 developed countries” by 2050. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the importance of IP to SMEs in order to secure economic growth as well as the importance of entrepreneurs in the development of a successful IP system.
The conference took place over two days, day one focusing on the current economic situation in Kazakhstan and the emerging IP market and also the growing importance of IP to business. Day two focused on using IP to leverage competitiveness amongst SMEs and also how the business angel community can be important to facilitate investments in both SMEs and IP. The audience were interested to see how these networks have developed in countries like Scotland.
Overall it was agreed that certain recommendations could be worked upon in order to facilitate the growth of IP in SMEs including:
- Better training for IP staff (Committee for IP rights) to understand how to encourage investment in IP rights and how they can generate revenues on the back of this to re-invest in the IP system and SMEs
- Improving the engagement with successful Entrepreneurs sharing best practice / experience on IP value to encourage SME adoption of IP strategy
- Improvements in academia and recognition of the importance of commercialisation to enhance competitiveness
- Surveys of SMEs to understand the current Level and benchmark for IP recognition
- Importance of the WIPO SME portal and SME taskforce for NIPOs to “connect” into