WIPO Academy: delivering IP training for the 21st century

Author:Francis Gurry
Position:Director General, WIPO

As the WIPO Academy, WIPO’s training arm, marks its 20th year, there is no better time to reflect on the enduring need for education in the field of intellectual property (IP). In today’s global, knowledge-based economy, IP rights play a critical role in both encouraging and leveraging the economic value of innovation and creativity in support of economic development. Enabling policymakers,... (see full summary)


Since its establishment in 1998, the WIPO Academy has played a leading role in expanding the global IP knowledge base and in strengthening the IP expertise of developing and least developed countries. Today, it is a global center of excellence for IP training, education and human capacity-building. Every year, its expanding portfolio of courses attracts growing numbers of participants. These include government officials, young legal professionals and students of all ages. But the evolving needs of a global talent pool, growing demand for high-quality, interactive learning tools, and rapid technological advances are fueling the development of IP curricula and a continued focus on delivering an innovative and affordable portfolio of courses and training materials.

Transforming the global IP education landscape

Over the last 20 years, the WIPO Academy has transformed the global landscape for IP education. The statistics are compelling. In that period, almost 600,000 participants from across the globe have benefitted from the IP education and training courses offered by the Academy.

Advances in AI promise to drive the next big leap in education and teaching across all disciplines, including IP.

Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General

Nearly 5,000 government officials from developing and least developed countries and countries in transition have taken part in more than 428 specialized professional development courses. Organized in close collaboration with member states, IP offices and IP institutions, these courses use case study materials to provide participants with the technical knowledge and practical training they need to support the development and implementation of effective IP policies and systems at home.

More than 1,250 students have graduated from the WIPO Joint Master’s Programs, of which more than half have benefitted from WIPO-funded scholarships and have since returned to their home governments. By the end of 2018, such programs will be offered by ten top universities around the world, reflecting growing demand for specialization in IP higher education.

A further 3,500 or so young professionals and students have also taken part in almost 100 WIPO Summer Schools organized with partners around the world, again reflecting growing global interest in IP. Today, women make up more than 50 percent of participants across the Academy’s portfolio of courses.

Targeted programs

In response to the expressed needs of WIPO’s member states, the...

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