WIPO Global Awards 2023: exceptional opportunity for SMEs to utilize their IP

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced an international tender program for SMEs that strive to achieve business success through the use of intellectual property and turn their activities to the benefit of society.


Igor Demcak

What is WIPO Global Awards 2023?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. Currently, WIPO's membership consists of more than 180 countries. WIPO's two main objectives are

  •  to promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide; and

  •  to ensure administrative cooperation among the intellectual property Unions established by the treaties that WIPO administers.

The 2023 annual competition for the WIPO Global Awards is searching for exceptional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of creators, inventors, and designers that are making smart use of intellectual property rights to achieve their business goals while also harnessing their innovation and creativity for the good of society.

The Global Awards competition aims to encourage the commercialization of IP assets by rewarding enterprises that make a smart use of intellectual property and to address the need to build a more inclusive global innovation ecosystem, which better harnesses the huge innovative and creative energies of entrepreneurs. The awards recognize and support inventors, creators and entrepreneurs using intellectual property rights to achieve their goals, generate income, create jobs, tackle local and global challenges, and support community and national development.

The application period for the 2023 competition will run from January 16 to March 31. Successful applicants will get to travel to Geneva to attend the awards ceremony and other networking events, gain international promotion and recognition, and a personalized mentorship program to achieve new business goals and facilitate access to funding and partnership opportunities. 

Who can apply to the WIPO Global Awards?

The competition is open to SMEs in WIPO's 193 Member States. Pursuant to the definition of the World Bank, SMEs are those “enterprises that encompass up to 300 employees and up to 15 US$ millions of total annual sales”.

Evaluation criteria for the WIPO Global Awards

Successful commercialization of IP: the SME demonstrate an understanding and ability to use IP rights (or a combination of such rights) to protect, manage, and commercialize innovative products, services, and/or creative content as well as other intangible assets such as data, to achieve business and/or corporate objectives beyond their home country.

Positive contribution on society: the SME's existing/potential positive contribution at the economic, social, and cultural levels, including but not limited to issues of environment, inclusiveness, and gender.

Diversity of the award contenders: in the selection process, the jury will follow an approach that upholds inclusiveness and diversity related to geographical representation and level of development of country of origin of the contenders.

Application and selection process of the WIPO Global Awards

1. Application period

Application through the online form available in the six UN official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish).

Participants should explain in particular how they have used IP rights to leverage corporate success, including the economic/social/cultural contribution, and the efforts made to promote gender equality and development challenges.

2. Shortlisting of nominees

The WIPO Secretariat will draw a shortlist of up to 20 nominees from all applications received on time. The 20 nominees will be announced on the WIPO media outlets to provide recognition and visibility.

3. Jury selection of winners

WIPO assembles an international jury of high-level personalities renowned for their achievement on the global scene, with knowledge of IP, representing various fields from technology, business, creative industries, investment, and innovation.

The international jury will select up to 7 winners. Winners will be notified directly to make further arrangements.

4. Awards Ceremony in Geneva

Official announcement of the winners. The winners, members of the jury, sponsors, mentors and other high level participants will be invited to join the Awards Ceremony in Geneva, to be held as a special event of the WIPO General Assembly in July 2023.

WIPO Awards timeline

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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