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Singapore and China To Establish International IP Innovation Service Centre In Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City

Issued: September 20 2018

Tan Minghe,Tan Shau En and Nina Yang smile for the camera after signing

Innovative enterprises in Singapore and China will soon have better access to a wealth of market opportunities in China and the high growth markets of ASEAN through Singapore. Earlier today, IP ValueLab (IPVL) – the enterprise engagement arm of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) – signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Administrative Committee (KCAC) and Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co. Ltd (GKC Co) to set up the “International Intellectual Property Innovation Service Centre” in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC).

Singapore and China have a shared interest in using IP and innovation to drive economic growth. The MOU will link the innovation ecosystems of both countries more closely to support the translation of ideas and IP into products and services for the region and globally. 

In particular, the Centre will provide a platform to connect IP expertise within the government and private sectors from both countries, and tap on Singapore’s experience in building IP skills to set up an IP college in Guangzhou. 

The Centre will also enable China’s enterprises to gain access to ASEAN and other key overseas markets through Singapore, which continues to be ranked top in Asia by the Global Innovation Index. Chinese innovators can take advantage of established platforms1,2 for expedited IP application processes into the region, and connect with more than 70 markets through Singapore’s network of IP and other agreements. In addition, IPOS is one of only two countries in the world that can transact and conduct patent searches in English and Chinese, which will add to Singapore’s attractiveness to Chinese enterprises seeking access to the region’s markets.

The MOU will also allow Singapore enterprises entering into China to have access to IP consultancy services, which will be crucial for business success in the growing markets of the Greater Bay Area3 in China and beyond.

Asia: The fastest growing centre of innovation in the world

Global IP fillings have grown significantly at 5.7% per annum between 2006 and 2016, largely driven by fillings in Asia which grew twice as fast at 10.5% per annum. Today, S$4 in every S$10 invested in R&D globally originates from Asia. Six in 10 IP applications were filed from Asia in 20164 , up from just four in 10 a decade ago.

China drives much of Asia’s growth, and its IP landscape has witnessed phenomenal growth in IP filings across patents, trademarks and designs. After overtaking the United States as the country with the most patent filings in 2011, China continues to enjoy double digit percentage growth in both patent and trademark filings annually. In 2016, China’s domestic patent, trademark and design filings accounted for 43%, 38% and 52% of global filings respectively.5 A staggering 98% of the increase in global patent filings came from China.

Chinese interest in ASEAN is growing strongly. Chinese patent filings into the six key ASEAN markets6 more than doubled from 2013 to 2016. Singapore’s patent filings into China – over 1,500 last year – is also the highest of all the countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. Singapore will continue to play an important role in bridging China and ASEAN, and serve as a gateway through which Chinese companies and innovators can access one of the most vibrant economic regions in the world.

The focus of the collaboration is on Guangdong through the SSGKC, as the Guangdong province clocked the largest number of domestic patent filings in 2017 for the eighth year running, filing more than 208,000 applications. The province also filed a record number of international patent and trademark filings last year, with its international patent filings amounting to more than half of China's total.7 Guangdong is also a leader in IP financing activities within China, with RMB13.3 billion worth of patent used as collateral for loans in the first six months of 2018.

Tan Shau En, Executive Director of IPVL, said, “China and Singapore have embraced innovation as a key driver of economic growth. The best ideas are sourced globally and innovation is enabled in a favourable ecosystem. The new IP Innovation Centre will be a critical link in the global innovation ecosystem with Guangzhou and Singapore acting as attractive bases to anchor and commercialise IP, enabling access to high growth regions in ASEAN and the Greater Bay Area, and bolstering high value economic growth for Guangzhou and Singapore.”

Tan Minghe, Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Working Committee of Guangzhou Development District, and CPC Working Committee of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, said, “SSGKC is committed to the establishment of ties between innovative Chinese companies and Singapore's intellectual property partners for domestic and foreign IP service providers to benefit from international operations along the Belt and Road. GKC will also strive to be a new benchmark for the utilisation, commercialisation and protection of IP in the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, to jointly promote IP cooperation between China and Singapore, and take Singapore-Guangdong cooperation to a new level.”

Nina Yang, Chairman of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co., said, “The collaboration between IP ValueLab and SSGKC reinforces SSGKC’s position as a model hub for innovation and IP cooperation between Singapore and China. As the master developer of SSGKC, we are committed in bringing together key strategic stakeholders from both countries, to help bridge the gaps between our IP creators and their IP commercialisation.”


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