My final stop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was a small group discussion with the Executive Director of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Fouad Mrad, members of the local Licensing Executives Society (LES) Arab Countries Chapter, and other invited guests.
We continued the discussion of intellectual property as a tool for economic development.
I shared three work streams:
- The work of Ocean Tomo to build primary IP-based valuation, ratings and investment banking tools.
- The work of the Intellectual Property Exchange International (IPXI) to build secondary and derivative markets.
- The work of LESI to develop the educational materials and supporting professional networks.
Executive Director Mrad focused on the importance of university research and development activities to include patenting as an end objective in addition to publishing.
He also shared an announcement of a UAE wide contract with NBC4 television to broadcast a reality series promoting individual inventors. Having seen the commercial trailers, this show is a cross between our own ‘Everyday Edisons‘ and ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’.
Most significantly, this show is a thoughtful and concerted effort to empower individuals to embrace the inventive process. As a competition with winners and losers, it is also a conscious attempt to change a cultural bias against failure.
It was not lost on the group that the meeting room we were in was lined with portraits of Nobel laureates, all of whom accomplished great things, but each with experimental failures before.
The next meeting of LES Arab Countries was announced for November 28-29, 2012, only six short weeks away, signaling perhaps a renewed activity for the Chapter and the local IP economy — exactly as predicted in my earlier posts.