Establishing Appropriate Best Practices in Intellectual Property Management and Technology Transfer in the United Arab Emirates: Building Human Capital, Global Networks and Institutional Infrastructure to Drive Sustainable Knowledge-Based Development.

Academic Article


  • For the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to sustainably build, foster and sustain accelerated transformation towards globally networked knowledge-based, innovation-driven economic development in the 21st century, a suite of internationally-standardized best practices (BP) in intellectual property (IP) management and technology transfer (tech-transfer) will be necessary. Appropriate BP are not only integral to national and international IP law, practice and management, but, perhaps more fundamentally, are critical as the UAE seeks to forge strategic partnerships linking the private (e.g., small/medium enterprises: SMEs), government (e.g., funding sources) and public sectors (e.g., universities and research institutions), towards a dynamic nationally, regionally and globally interconnected innovation ecosystem. The importance of realizing the enormous, and indeed catalytic, potential which integration across these seemingly disparate sectors entails cannot be over-stressed, and the urgency of addressing this challenge must not be delayed lest evanescent opportunities evaporate. However, the key initial questions should be: What are BP for the UAE to establish and follow in order to make this happen? Who should develop and then make use of such BP- UAE IP professionals or expatriate consultants and advisors? If UAE personnel (which it indeed must be), then who should do this and how? This article addresses these questions in the context of building the human capital and institutional infrastructure in the UAE which will form the foundation for sustainable knowledge-based, innovation-driven development. It presents a candid appraisal of the current challenges the UAE faces, the necessity to not only leap-frog from a petroleum to a knowledge-based economy but to catch-up in an ever accelerating, competitive and unforgiving global IP/innovation economy, the role of IP management and tech-transfer expertise and requisite BP in this process and the need to coherently and strategically implement a cultural transition in its citizens and institutions commensurate with this new century while recognizing the attendant risk, uncertainty, challenge and opportunity.
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