Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi welcomes WIPO Director-General to Sharjah


Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and
stalwart of protection and promotion of intellectual property (IP), welcomed Daren Tang,
the fifth and current Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO), to Sharjah.

The President of the AUS, in tandem with the Director General of WIPO, embarked on a
consequential tour across the emirate, with the aim of exploring fresh and efficacious
avenues of partnership between Sharjah and the World Intellectual Property
Organization. The overarching objective of this diplomatic endeavour was to leverage
the vast potential of IP as a catalyst for innovation and creativity.

Sheikha Bodour and the Director General of WIPO embarked on a tour of the Sharjah
Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), where they bore witness to a
vibrant ecosystem of innovation-driven enterprises thriving within SRTIP’s free zone and
research-oriented milieu. Among the thriving businesses were member startups of the
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), whose founders engaged with the AUS
President and WIPO Director General, as they discussed the importance of patents and
trademarks in safeguarding IP and how they can be adapted to the dynamic and fast-
paced landscape of today’s knowledge and information-driven society.

As part of the WIPO Director General’s itinerary in Sharjah, he was accompanied by
Sheikha Bodour and taken to visit the city’s preeminent epicentres of knowledge-
creation, innovation, and creativity, such as the House of Wisdom, a bastion of

intellectual and cultural significance. Additionally, the WIPO Director General, met with
high-ranking officials at the Kalimat Foundation and the Emirates Reprographic Rights
Association (ERRA), as he endeavoured to glean valuable insights on the subject of
intellectual property rights from seasoned experts in the field.

Emphasising the importance of the Director General’s visit, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi
noted: “The potential of intellectual property rights protection in boosting innovation and
creativity and thereby shaping thriving societies and economies globally cannot be
overemphasised. Yet intellectual property rights face multifaceted challenges, which
require collaborative and strategic actions by the entire stakeholder ecosystem,
governments, and legal entities.

Adding to her inspiring words the AUS President stated, “We are meeting at a time of
transition and transformation dotted by challenges. We need to pay close attention to
how we can turn these into opportunities to strengthen intellectual property rights and
translate their contribution to tangible economic and social impact, which can then lead
to the creation of a balanced, inclusive and forward-looking intellectual property rights
ecosystems in Sharjah, the UAE and beyond.”

Commenting on his visit Daren Tang said: “During my visit to the UAE I saw first-hand
how the country is laying the foundations for an entrepreneurship and innovation-based
economy. I would like to thank Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi for our fruitful discussions and
all her efforts to ensure that IP-backed innovation and creativity thrives in the UAE. I
was pleased to meet with young entrepreneurs to talk about how IP can help take their
ideas to the market”. He added: “I was also impressed by work being done at the
Kalimat Foundation on reducing the gender gap in STEM and at the House of Wisdom
that works to ensure that IP underpins the creative industries.”

Being present during the WIPO delegation’s visit to Sharjah: Najla Al Midfa, CEO of
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah
Research, Technology and Innovation Park; Dr. Al Yazia Khalifa, President of the Board

of ERRA; and Salha Obaid, Treasurer of the board of ERRA. Representatives from the
Ministry of Economy and Kalimat Foundation were also in attendance.

The WIPO delegation, included: Hasan Kleib, Deputy Director General of the Regional
and National Development Sector (RNDS); Beatriz Amorim-Borher, Director of RNDS
Projects; Shaima Al Akel, Program Officer of RNDS Projects; and Luis Enrique Chavez
Prado, Associate Program Officer of the Office of Deputy Director General (RNDS),
visited Sharjah during this time.