The Department of Education (DepEd) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) entered into a partnership for the conduct of intellectual property-related activities through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the SEAMEO Innotech in Quezon City on February 18.
The undertaking aims to promote the creation and use of intellectual property (IP) in basic education to advance the common good, and contribute to local and national development. WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations working with developing countries to enable societies to benefit from the IP system and enhance their participation in the global innovation economy.
DepEd and WIPO will work together on capacitating teachers, science coordinators, school heads, legal personnel, and other DepEd staff on intellectual property matters. Trainings will be conducted in the Philippines and in the WIPO Academy in Geneva, Switzerland, where the WIPO headquarters is located.
“I hope that we will encourage our learners, as young as they are, to be creative and inventive by giving them the assurance that their names and creations will be protected, and that they will be acknowledged as creators. Their names will never be forgotten through intellectual properties,” DepEd secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones shared.
The MOA also entails the inclusion of a WIPO category, called the Appropriate Technology Competition (ATC), in the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) of DepEd for two school years.
In the ATC in 2020, three best entries using patent information to devise science and technology solutions to local problems will be selected and awarded with WIPO medals and certificates of excellence.
The winners will also be given opportunities to participate in an IP forum or competition abroad in 2020, with all expenses of the winner and one adult companion to be shouldered by WIPO, in cooperation with the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
During the signing ceremony, Andrew Michael Ong, director for WIPO and representative of WIPO director general Francis Gurry, noted the role of IP rights as the language of the 21st century for knowledge and knowledge products. He added that this is only the first step of many activities that DepEd and WIPO will embark on.
“The world has changed and it takes a whole-of-government approach to be able to do this kind of IP work. I would say that, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire government’s efforts, the full government, to be able to introduce intellectual property in the country,” Ong relayed.