A workshop in line with the theme 'Powering change: Women in Innovation and creativity' was held this morning at the EbAne CyberTower in EbAne, in the context of World Intellectual Property Day 2018. The workshop, organised by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC), aims to outline the contribution of women to the economic development of the country as well as their influence on the Intellectual Property (IP) landscape.

The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus and the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, were present at the event.

In his address Minister Sawmynaden pointed out that women as agents of innovation and creativity have contributed massively to the economic development of Mauritius. The World Intellectual Property Day is an opportune time to reflect on the brilliance and courage of women for driving change in the world and shaping the future and most importantly to protect their creativity and intellectual property, he said.

According to the Minister, IP protection is fundamental for the society and the economy to gain from innovative and creative initiatives. Mauritius, he said, certainly needs more of the spirit of innovation across all sectors not only to create a knowledge-based economy to boost productivity but also to unleash the potential of business and enterprises, so that it moves up to a high-income country. On that note, Mr Sawmynaden recalled that Government is bent on providing the ideal environment to foster innovative and creative practices through facilities such as the National SME Incubator Scheme, the Innovation Box Regime, the Intellectual Property Promotion Scheme, amongst others.

For her part Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus said that women's role as catalyst of change, innovation and creativity in the society should be acknowledged and celebrated. She emphasised that women have the potential of being the drivers of change which is key to bring forth the agenda of development.

According to her a gender balance at work can trigger business innovation in terms of ideas and services. However, figures show that women account for only 15 % of registered inventors which clearly shows their underrepresentation. On that score, she urged women entrepreneurs to protect their creative and innovative ideas for the benefit of their business activities and to ensure that their original concept is protected.

Also present on the occasion the Head of Business Outreach and Digital Content, Intellectual Property Office from the United Kingdom, Ms C Saunders said that the IP system helps to underpin future development by enabling business to grow which in turn boosts the economy. She underscored the need to have the most diverse, inclusive, representative generation of creators, innovators, and scientists to ensure that people are able to innovate and create to power change for the future. Ms Saunders lauded the initiative of the government to encourage change and remove the so as to better support women in innovation.

On the same occasion Minister Sawmynaden proceeded with the launch of the IP Health Check, developed by the MRC. The IP Health Check is based on the existing model operated by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO), known as 'IP Health Check' . The online tool covers guidance on key IPR issues covering patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright and confidential information. The MRC has received the authorisation of UK-IPO to adapt the online tool for development of a similar system adapted for Mauritius. The IP Health Check is available to persons coming to the MRC requesting information on IP.

Source: Government of Mauritius