Cover picture of the World Intellectual Property Report 2022

World Intellectual Property Report 2022
The Direction of Innovation

The 2022 edition of the World Intellectual Property Report examines how crises such as pandemics and wars can influence the evolution of innovation by looking at historical scientific and technological advances from vaccine development during the COVID-19 outbreak to the rise and prevalence of digital technologies of today.

The report also highlights how policymakers can drive innovation in a direction that best responds to societies’ needs to address the grand challenges of climate change and health.

Download the WIPR 2022 | Flyer PDF, WIPR 2022 Flyer | Presentation | Photos on Flickr

promotional video of the WIPR 2022 that focuses on the direction of innovation to address issues like climate change

The WIPR 2022 Launch Event

Geneva, April 7, 2022

The event included a presentation of key findings of the report, followed by a panel discussion on “Are we at a crossroads of major changes in the direction of innovation?

Videos are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

Watch the launch event

How will technology change in the future?

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, new and powerful factors influence the direction that innovation is taking in science, technology and medicine to address the grand challenges of today. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the digital revolution have been major factors of technological and scientific change.

Technology timeline showing the four industrial revolutions

(click to enlarge)

Digital transformation heralds the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The 21st century has seen digital technologies taking the world by storm, with some economists billing this as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a fully-data driven economy. Digital general-purpose technologies are expected to make strides in optimizing transportation systems, transforming medical research and healthcare, and improving access to education.

Read our report to find out more about how digitalization is changing the world. PDF of the WIPR 2022 discussing how digitalization is changing the world

infography showing the growing patenting activity for digital technologies

(click to enlarge)

Green technology to tackle climate change

Fighting climate change has become a priority at the top of policy agendas around the world. Clean technology growth has stagnated in the past decade. Reaching ambitious carbon emission-reduction targets will depend on the adoption of innovative technologies. Policy measures and public funding will increasingly prioritize investments in new technologies.

Read our report for more information on the need to address climate change. Pdf of the WIPR 2022 discussing the Direction of innovation to address climate change

chart showing the growth rate of clean technologies from 1973 to 2017

(click to enlarge)

Crisis-driven innovations

In a sudden crisis such as a natural disaster, war or a disease outbreak, governments can play a decisive role by mobilizing forces, redirecting funding and coordinating the efforts of the public and private sectors.

Innovation during the pandemic

COVID-19 generated and accelerated demand for new technologies with which to curb the spread of the virus and treat infection. The scientific and technological community developed, with significant government funding, a range of vaccines in record time.

Read our report to find out more about the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pdf of the WIPR 2022 discussing the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic

Innovation as a consequence of war

Treating wounded soldiers during the Second World War required new technological solutions. The US government reacted by increasing its R&D budget 100 times, allowing for numerous medical breakthroughs to occur. These opened avenues for further research and medical improvements that reached far into the future.

Read our report to find out more about the lessons learnt from World War II. Pdf of the WIPR 2022 discussing the lessons learnt from World War II

Infography showing the social benefit and private benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine

(click to enlarge)

How the innovation ecosystem sparks new technologies

An innovation ecosystem can be defined as the combination of all the stakeholders that make choices influencing innovation-related outcomes and, consequently, the direction of innovation. The choices and interactions that occur within the ecosystem are paramount and based on two elements:

1. Knowledge flows

Knowledge flows define the interaction between innovation ecosystem stakeholders. They provide potential innovation opportunities available to stakeholders, which in turn set the direction of innovation.

2. Economic flows

Based on predictions, companies, entrepreneurs and governments identify innovation opportunities that may potentially generate private and social returns – that is, the potential profit to a company or society.

Read our report to find out more about interactions within innovation ecosystems. Pdf of the WIPR 2022 discussing the interactions within innovation ecosystems

Infography showing knowledge flows and economic flows between different actors in an innovation ecosystem

(click to enlarge)

About the World Intellectual Property Report

The World Intellectual Property Report, published every two years, offers fresh insights into the role of innovation in market economies and, in doing so, fosters evidence-based policy-making.  Each edition focuses on specific trends in an area of intellectual property (IP).

Find out more