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SHIL celebrates World Intellectual Property Day’s vision of innovation-driven ‘better future’

World Intellectual Property Day’s vision of a better future driven by innovators of any age is vital in breaking down barriers to ground-breaking new ideas, says Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL)

SHIL celebrates World Intellectual Property Day’s vision of innovation-driven ‘better future’ image

SHIL is proud to be supporting World Intellectual Property Day 2022, taking place on Tuesday 26th April.

The annual day celebrates the role which intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity, while empowering entrepreneurs by protecting their ideas.

This year, World Intellectual Property Day is focussing on ‘IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.’

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) believes that “across the globe, young people are stepping up to innovation challenges, using their energy and ingenuity, their curiosity and creativity to steer a course towards a better future.”

WIPO will be exploring how creative minds are driving positive change and using intellectual property rights to achieve their goals, generate income, create jobs, tackle local and global challenges, and support community and national development.

SHIL is keen to see the same mindset inspire NHS Scotland – the belief that age, location, or role in health and social care really is no barrier to innovation, and everyone should be inspired to come up with new ideas, simple or complex, to drive improvements in healthcare.

Whilst inspiring innovative approaches, being mindful that without ownership over the IP of what has been created or invented, anyone, regardless of permission, can use and adapt that idea without adequately compensating the inventor(s). Protecting IP is therefore crucial to ideas originating from NHS Scotland. It secures the interests of both the health professional/inventor, and the health board.

It is also one of the key services that SHIL supports health boards with across Scotland, and ensures the NHS is protected in commercial negotiations, with skilled, experienced individuals able to advise and support through this process.

Over the years SHIL has protected the Intellectual Property, Trademark, Copyright and Design Rights of over 250 NHS inventions.  

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and NHS Scotland recovery aims, this strong framework will continue to support the NHS as it adapts and evolves, emerges stronger, and accelerates the development of the leading healthcare innovations of tomorrow.

Executive Chair of SHIL, Graham Watson said: “This year, young people are at the heart of Intellectual Property Day, and rightly so – our collective future is of course in their hands – but we also believe that innovation can come from anywhere or anyone.

“We must give creative minds at all levels of the NHS the correct IP tools to thrive and adapt their ideas. Effective IP is nothing less than a key for unlocking the true power of ideas, both now and in the future.

“With good support and advice on how to secure IP protection – from concept and strategy to implementation and scale – innovators can provoke change and improve health and social care outcomes for a better, healthier Scotland. SHIL provides that valuable support.

“The entrepreneurial journey has undoubtedly been accelerated in recent times by the pandemic. We must now keep that momentum going by encouraging and collaborating on the next big thinkers’ ideas, in turn identifying viable solutions to complex health challenges."

Robert Rea, Head of Innovation at SHIL, said: “Incredible knowledge and talent resides within NHS Scotland, and coupled with the enthusiasm, energy, experience, and expertise within SHIL, we can fully harness that vast potential and catalyse innovative ideas that positively support health, economic and social outcomes.

“We welcome ideas from across health and social care, and following COP26 in Glasgow, we have placed emphasis on sustainability, encouraging new ideas that will support NHS Scotland’s target of net zero emissions by 2040. Innovative approaches within healthcare are taking on more importance with every passing year and securing IP is vital to drive sustainable innovation.”

WIPO Director General Daren Tang called IP a “horizontal enabler” cutting across different sectors of the economy and “ultimately a powerful catalyst for growth and development.”

SHIL’s innovation calls are designed to inspire and harness the knowledge and expertise of health and social care professionals across Scotland to develop innovative solutions in response to challenges such as frailty and sustainability.

These have offered initial seed funding of up to £25k, project management, innovation expertise, and regulatory support including access to detailed intellectual property advice. However, innovative ideas to any health challenge can be submitted through our online portal available at  

Intellectual property advice is part of a range of services and support offered by SHIL with a short guide to IP detailing the different types of IP including copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

If you have questions or are interested in finding out more get in touch via and follow #WorldIPDay for useful insight.

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