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The Forum on Practical Intellectual Property (IP) Issues for SME Support and Financial Institutions, including Technology/Business Incubators will be held on 18-20 January, 2005 at the WIPO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The event will be jointly organized by WIPO and the World Association for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (WASME).

18 January 2004 - 20 January 2004

In an increasing knowledge driven and hyper-competitive business environment, the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) support institutions, be they technological based or business oriented, have to refocus their advocacy and support service to SMEs. The new focus should be on using the tools of the IP system for identifying, managing and leveraging creative and innovative products and services for technological and/or business success of their constituents. Financial institutions must also now realign their activities focusing on the reality that intellectual property assets are increasingly becoming the main form of assets for most enterprises/companies in the new economy. Such refocusing and realignment would enable the SME support and financial institutions to help SMEs to evolve IP asset management strategies, during their tenancy in incubators and after leaving incubators, and adapt well to the changing business environment. In addition, by adequately protecting their intellectual property asset SMEs would be well positioned to take advantage of services offered by IP sensitive financial institutions. At the same time, SME support and financial institutions would ensure their own relevance in providing value-added services that may even provide opportunities for augmenting their own source of income for their advocacy and support services to SMEs.
The Forum seeks to address the changing business environment in particular the intellectual property aspects of the new business environment and its relevance to activities of technology/business incubators, science and technology institutions, financial institutions and non-governmental institutions supporting the development of SMEs at the national and provincial levels such as chambers of commerce and industry, business associations etc.
The objective of the Forum is to bring together SMEs, SME support and financial institutions and other stakeholders in order to discuss and exchange experiences on opportunities and challenges of using the IP system in promoting the competitiveness of SMEs. The discussions will focus on how participating institutions can facilitate the use of the IP system by SMEs. Throughout the Forum, participants will share, discuss and analyze their experience in facilitating the use of IP system by SMEs, with a view to sharing best practices and developing newer and better cost-effective approaches in responding to the IP needs and concerns of SMEs.
The proposed provisional program is available at
Interested participants will finance their travel and accommodation to attend the Forum. Registration for the Forum will be posted on the World Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(WASME) website at and announced in the WASME magazine.
Those interested in the program may contact Mr. R. Kapil, Executive Secretary, WASME (e-mail: ).The World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME), founded in 1980 in New Delhi, India, is now recognised as the largest professionally managed global non-governmental organization with Members comprising of national governments, chambers of commerce and industry, small business authorities and associations, banks and financial institutions, training and consultancy agencies serving micro, small and medium enterprises, primarily in developing countries. WASME is managed by a competent Secretariat and works out of its own building at Noida ( close to New Delhi ) supported by professionals in Information Services, Economic Research, Marketing, Technology Transfer and other specialized subjects. It is served by Permanent Representatives in Washington DC, Vienna, Paris, Bangkok, Geneva, Brussels and Kuala Lumpur.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ( is an international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works -- intellectual property -- are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life, as well as creating real wealth for nations.
With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organizations. It administers 23 international treaties dealing with different aspects of intellectual property protection. The Organization counts 181 nations as member states.