Wednesday, September 27, 2017

UN Technology Bank to build IP infrastructure in LDCs

A new United Nations (UN) Technology Bank for least-developed countries (LDCs) aimed at growing technology transfer and intellectual property infrastructure across the 48 poorest nations became operational at last week’s annual UN General Assembly in New York.
The bank’s creation represents the first target of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved.
Host nation Turkey signed an agreement with the UN on September 22, committing to provide $2 million per year for five years plus staff and offices. LDCs were lining up to make token contributions as well, but the real need is to tap resources in the developed world to make it sustainable, sources said.
The Technology Bank effort is organised by the UN Office of the High Representative for the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).
There are two components to the bank: technology transfer and strengthening the IP infrastructure of LDC countries, as well as support IP rights acquisition and capacity building. For example in 2015, across the LDC countries there were only 2400 patents registered compared with 800 in neighbouring countries and about 100,000 in bigger countries. You’re talking in comparison to 47 countries. So there’s big potential for supporting IP and technology transfer.
They did a costing over 5 years of the Bank and it is foreseen to cost $35 million annually. The bank has been a longstanding priority for LDCs, called for in the 2011 Istanbul Programme of Action. The 2016 UN General Assembly officially established the bank as a new UN institution and subsidiary organ of the General Assembly, to be located in Gebze, Turkey.
The Technology Bank is expected to broaden the application of science, technology and innovation in the world’s poorest countries. It will improve technology-related policies, facilitate technology transfer and enhance the integration of the LDCs into the global knowledge-based economy. It will also serve as a knowledge hub, connecting needs, resources and actors, facilitating LDC access to existing technology-related projects and fostering joint initiatives with relevant organisations and the private sector.

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