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The International Chamber of Commerce has launched a new set of principles to support the development of policy frameworks that enable innovation, especially in high-technology industries.

The principles – which aim to promote policies that support innovation as a key driver of economic growth, job creation and broad-based opportunity – were released at a roundtable in Geneva co-hosted at the Permanent Mission to Canada and attended by senior business executives and ambassadors representing a range of countries. They respond, in part, to the challenge of the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals which emphasize the role of innovation in tackling global challenges such as extreme poverty and climate change.

The paper expands upon four central principles, necessary for the creation of a supportive policy environment for innovation. In doing so, it urges policymakers to:

Build investor confidence by encouraging dialogue between stakeholders, providing stability and good governance, investing in infrastructure and ensuring that regulatory frameworks are predictable, transparent, robust and up to date.

Train skilled workers in a climate that promotes knowledge exchange . To achieve this, the principles highlight the need for collaboration across sectors, along with investment in educational infrastructure and public-private research programmes.

Open markets to trade and investment , noting that innovation is a global endeavour that transcends borders. The principles state that national trade and competition laws should not discriminate between domestic and foreign companies, and that national systems aimed at attracting investment should conform to international norms and take into account global competition to attract investment capital.

Ensure adequate intellectual property (IP) systems to incentivize investment in innovation . The paper explains that effective and predictable intellectual property systems assist businesses to obtain financing for innovation, provide certainty that businesses can recoup their investments in R&D, and enable innovative ideas to be commercialized and scaled. They also help to provide security for sharing know-how between businesses and other entities in the context of collaborative innovation.

To meet the climate challenge, governments should do all they can to create an environment in which all sectors are incentivized and encouraged to innovate. It’s important to recognize that investment and innovation to meet the climate challenge will depend not only on a COP21 agreement but as much on what happens outside any new climate treaty.

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said: “The social, environmental, and economic challenges that we face today require innovative responses. Business has a key role to play in helping society meet these challenges but can only do so in an environment that supports innovation. The ICC Innovation Principles have been created with this in mind, and we hope that they will provide the foundation for a wider discussion on technological innovation between business and policymakers.”

The release of the ICC principles comes on the second day of the landmark Paris Climate Conference, COP21, at which it is hoped that a new global agreement to tackle climate change will be agreed. In advance of COP21, ICC has emphasized the need for governments to support innovation to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience to changing weather patterns-both as part of a future global climate agreement and through other policy measures.

Mr Danilovich added: “To meet the climate challenge, governments should do all they can to create an environment in which all sectors are incentivized and encouraged to innovate. It’s important to recognize that investment and innovation to meet the climate challenge will depend not only on a COP21 agreement but as much on what happens outside any new climate treaty. In this context, it’s vital that robust and balanced IP frameworks are maintained both in those international institutions that have expertise in IP protection, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization as well as at national level.”

What fosters innovation

To download the ICC Principles on Creating and Nurturing Innovation Ecosystems for High-Tech Industries, click here.

For further information, please contact

  • Daphne YONG-D'HERVÉ
  • +33 (0)1 49 53 28 24
  • Senior Policy Manager, Intellectual Property