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Top students in Pioneer cohort of Master of IP and Innovation Management programme receive IPOS awards

Issued: October 10 2019

Three students from the pioneer cohort of Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Master of Intellectual Property and Innovation Management (MIPIM) were conferred the inaugural IPOS Awards sponsored by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) today. The Awards aim to encourage professionals to take up the MIPIM to meet market demands and advance their careers in today’s innovation-driven economy.


Introduced in 2017, the MIPIM programme is Singapore’s first and only graduate programme in intellectual property and innovation management. The pioneer cohort of 14 students went through a specialised curriculum that provided them with skills and knowledge from the law, business and technology disciplines. With their graduation, Singapore will have stronger capabilities in IP and innovation management to help innovative enterprises take their ideas to the market. The graduates will also be entering a highly niche market that is increasingly in demand. Research in Singapore and other major developed jurisdictions show that IP jobs can command a salary premium of between 30 percent to 70 percent.


Topping the pioneer cohort was Wendy Sim, an IP Strategist and IP Management Consultant at Synergy IP, an IP service firm. The other two recipients of the IPOS Awards – Dr. Leck Kwong Joo, a senior patent examiner at IPOS, and Claire Mak, a senior manager at a local university – received their Awards from President Halimah Yacob, Patron of SUSS. Wendy Sim said, “I embarked on the course as I believe that IP will be the new frontier of the 4th Industrial Revolution and innovation is the driving force behind the new digital era. MIPIM offers a wide range of skillsets and the outcome is pleasantly beyond my expectation. Formerly an accountant, I have taken on a new portfolio as an IP strategist and IP management consultant. Now I assist clients to deploy IP strategies, navigate IP laws to protect their IP assets, provide assistance in IP prosecution and most importantly, help them integrate IP into their business strategy so that they can realise their business goals.”


Globally, the demand for specialised post graduate programmes has increased. In particular, programmes that favour innovation and are located in tech hubs such as Singapore will become increasingly popular.3 This explains the substantial uptake in enrolment for MIPIM. For the third intake in 2019, there was a more than two-fold increase to 29 as compared to 2017. With a mutual interest in growing Singapore’s pool of industry-ready IP expertise, IPOS and SUSS will be signing an Agreement to further their collaboration in promulgating skills in IP and innovation management for another three years.


Both parties will implement a competency-based framework to ensure that MIPIM graduates achieve a high standard of knowledge and skills required for IP and innovation related work. The programme curriculum will be validated with the relevant industry practitioners and associations.


Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, said, “SUSS recognises that in today’s innovation-driven environment, intangible assets and IP will make up the bulk of companies’ value. Aligned with our university’s vision of providing lifelong education to equip learners to serve society, we are delighted to be part of this strategic partnership, which allows us to develop talents and arm them with the invaluable know-how and practical skills to become coveted IP-trained professionals.”


Daren Tang, Chief Executive of IPOS said, “As we grow Singapore’s innovation and IP ecosystem, our workforce must be equipped with the necessary skillsets for jobs in an increasingly intangible-asset driven economy. The pioneer batch of MIPIM students have spent two hard years building up skills from the technology and law disciplines, and combining them with business acumen. Their expertise will centre around the use of IP for strategic business growth and will be very welcome by innovative enterprises. We look forward to working with other professional associations and academic institutions of higher learning to develop a pipeline of such talents to meet the growing need for experts and professionals in this area.”