|Part of the audience at the seminar. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
One Government Minister has cited the need for the development of a National Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy for Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, in calling for such a strategy, admitted that its development would not be an "easy task", but would, however, enhance the competitiveness of the SME sector.
The Minister was at the time addressing a seminar which was organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), in collaboration with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and the Corporate Affairs and
Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO). The two-day seminar was held at the Bagnall Point Gallery, under the theme Effective Intellectual Property Management by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
Issuing a call for a "more effective use of the intellectual property system", Minister Kellman stated that: "In its broadest sense, this will require a combined policy effort inclusive of targeted education; cultural, taxation and export policies; operating in concert with a commensurate level of sectoral awareness and training.
"To my mind, this would enable SMEs to make more informed decisions on how best to exploit their innovative and creative capacity; and generally improve the existing policy and institutional support framework and business environment, to make it more conducive and easier for SMEs to use the IP system."
The Small Business Minister pointed out that to ensure a "seamless occurrence" in developing the strategy, there would be a need for cooperation from various stakeholders, such as the National and Regional IP offices; the Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the University of the West Indies; and SME associations.