Press Release

UNU-MERIT and WIPO Forge New Partnership to Enhance Global Research and Education

Through a new MoU, UNU-MERIT and the World Intellectual Property Organization will cooperate on research, education and integrated capacity building.

In a significant step towards strengthening global ties in the fields of research and education, UNU-MERIT and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic collaboration. The MoU was signed today, 29 May 2024, by United Nations University (UNU) Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala and WIPO’s Director General Daren Tang.

Through this MoU, UNU-MERIT has now partnered up with the WIPO Academy to cooperate broadly on research and education, and to co-create the Governance of Innovation specialisation of our Master of Public Policy and Human Development programme. As the centre of excellence for intellectual property (IP) education, training and skills-building for WIPO member states, the Academy’s focus on developing countries, least-developed countries (LDCs) and countries in transition underscores a shared commitment of both UNU and WIPO: that of fostering innovation and creativity on a global scale.

Furthermore, the WIPO Academy’s mission to help build human capacity in IP aligns seamlessly with UNU-MERIT’s core mandate to advance societal policy and innovation research, provide education and mobilise knowledge in order to unlock the full potential of innovation for achieving inclusive sustainable development. This partnership will significantly benefit our Master’s programme, particularly the Governance of Innovation specialisation, for which WIPO staff members will be co-delivering the academic curriculum on IP. We are certain that WIPO will bring invaluable insights and expertise to the programme, ensuring that our students receive cutting-edge knowledge and practical skills in the field of IP and innovation governance.

Congratulating UNU-MERIT and WIPO on the new MoU, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala stated: "UNU-MERIT brings expertise in innovation research for inclusive sustainable development, which will complement WIPO’s expertise and the WIPO Academy portfolio to enable innovation for the benefit of all. As we move deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, innovation governance is essential to ensure we are working for the good of humanity. I look forward to the multiplication of knowledge that will come out of this strategic partnership."

Together, UNU-MERIT and WIPO are ideally placed to make substantial contributions to the development of policies and practices that promote sustainable and inclusive innovation. This collaboration will enable the exchange of knowledge and expertise, not only benefitting the students and faculty involved but also resulting in far-reaching impact on global efforts to harness the potential of innovation for sustainable development.