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Ipos partners Lloyd's Asia, NUS, Siam Cement Group to boost Singapore's status as IP hub

THE Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) announced on Tuesday that it has inked a trio of initiatives that it said will "entrench" Singapore as an IP (intellectual property) and innovation hub.

The statutory board said it has partnered insurance firm Lloyd's Asia and the National University of Singapore's School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (NUS Scale) to offer companies new tools and capabilities to grow their intangible assets and commercialise their IP.

Ipos also announced that Thailand's largest industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Group (SCG), through SCG Chemicals Co Ltd, will sign an agreement to leverage on Ipos' suite of services for business growth.

Ipos will sign the three memoranda of understanding (MOU) at IP Week @ SG 2018, held from Sept 4 - 5 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

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Together with Ipos, insurance and reinsurance firm Lloyd's Asia will work to introduce IP insurance products which will help enterprises in "attracting capital, averting business interruption and strengthening negotiating positions" when they use IP in the course of their business.

The products will address the rising global demand for IP protection in the form of IP insurance, Ipos said.

Both Ipos and Lloyd's Asia will also organise a series of seminars to reach out to over 100 companies over two years to promote Singapore as a centre of excellence for IP commercialisation, IP rights protection and the availability of underwriting expertise for IP insurance, Ipos said in a press statement.

Said Angela Kelly, Lloyd’s Asia country manager: "Intangible assets such as IP now account for a significant share of corporate value for many companies. Businesses can safeguard this highly valuable asset through IP insurance to help mitigate the risks of IP infringement, including defraying legal costs of possible subsequent IP rights enforcement.

"In 2016, there were over 50,000 trademark registrations and over 7,000 patent registrations in Singapore alone. As companies in Asia continue their pursuit and development of innovative ideas and solutions, the potential for IP insurance will grow in tandem in the region."

In the second MOU, Ipos' training and education arm, IP Academy Singapore (IPA), will join NUS Scale to curate and deliver executive programmes and master classes for professionals and enterprises, with a view towards developing a new joint professional certification for IP and innovation skills.

IPA itself will launch an eight-month, part-time Specialist Certificate in Intangible Asset Management to train Singaporeans in IP and innovation-related skills. The programme - with an initial intake in Jan 2019 - is aimed at both fresh and seasoned individuals in the IP industry.

Under Ipos' third MOU, SCG, Thailand's largest industrial and manufacturing conglomerate will sign an agreement to access Ipos' comprehensive patent search services and other services such as IP related capability building.

Cholanat Yanaranop, executive vice president of SCG, chairman of SCG innovation committee and president of SCG Chemicals, said Singapore's ability to conduct patent searches in both English and Chinese ensures "thorough and comprehensive search results", which is important when the firm expands their product offerings to the world.

Ipos chief executive Daren Tang highlighted that the organisation's aim is to build Singapore's innovation ecosystem so that enterprises from anywhere in the world can use the Republic as a base to "commercialise their IP and access growth markets in Asia and beyond".

"These new partnerships will bring cutting edge IP products to the region, build skills that are needed by enterprises as they innovate, and position Singapore's IP hub as one that understands Asian and Western technology and patent databases.

"Our initiatives leverage on Singapore's traditional strengths as a forward looking, enterprise centred and global city, but through a new lens of IP and innovation."