December 18, 2014
By Philip Stevens, WIPO Global Challenges Division.
In late 2013, WIPO GREEN was launched to promote innovation and diffusion of green technologies by connecting technology and service providers with those seeking innovative solutions.
It has been a year marked by rapid development. WIPO GREEN now includes 53 partner organizations drawn from five continents and its database lists over 1,700 green technology products, services and intellectual propert (IP) assets available for commercialization or licensing. In November, the UN Office for South South Cooperation awarded WIPO GREEN its Innovation Prize for its pioneering work in facilitating green technology transfer to developing countries.
WIPO GREEN’s most important assets are partners, who have been working hard to deliver green technologies to countries and regions where they are most needed. Some highlights include:
- The Climate Innovation Centre, Kenya, is working with a range of partners to purchase agricultural waste from smallholder farmers and convert the waste into biomass briquettes. These briquettes emit fewer emissions than charcoal, add value to agricultural waste and can help reduce rates of deforestation.
- Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative has developed an innovative bicycle that uses natural materials to reduce the cost and environmental impact of manufacture. (Watch on YouTube.) The Initiative’s latest project is the establishment of two new factories in Ghana, providing training and employment opportunities for 60 young people.
- General Electric is working with Indian stakeholders to manufacture and distribute the first wind turbine specifically designed for India’s low-speed conditions. Outside the monsoon, India experiences relatively low average wind speeds, requiring special rotor and turbine design.
- Simpa Networks has concluded a USD7.2m round of financing to scale up its decentralized solar home energy systems in India. Simpa Networks is helping to address fuel poverty in India through its “solar leasing” model. Under the program, customers pay for the home installation of a solar energy system and then purchase “energy days” using a prepaid or pay-as-you-go mobile payment system. Once enough payments have been made, the customer owns the system outright.
- In Uganda, the Clean Energy Partnership Africa (CEPA) is establishing a facility for processing agricultural produce, including grain cleaning, plant drying and warehousing. This will be powered by a new 1 megawatt solar plant, with excess power shared with the neighbouring community.
- TEIJIN Ltd has developed a new wastewater purification technology that uses a biological carrier to immobilize microorganisms. This enables the treatment of industrial effluent with a high chemical content, making the manufacturing process less harmful to the environment. The technology has been rolled-out to chemical, dyeing and food manufacturing plants in Indonesia and China.
- JGC Corporation has developed a new high throughput extraction column, allowing the petrochemical industry to reduce its environmental footprint.
- The Climate Technology Centre and Network, part of the UNFCCC, works to stimulate technology cooperation and to enhance climate technology development and transfer. In 2014 it signed an agreement with WIPO GREEN to provide advice on IPRs and technology transfer.
The development and broad diffusion of innovative green technologies are central to international efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In its first year, WIPO GREEN has shown itself to be an important catalyst for innovation and diffusion of green technologies, assembling in one place technologies at all stages of development - from upstream research to marketable products (and everything in between) - and making them available for license, collaboration, joint ventures and sale.
By adopting a bottom-up approach, built around partnerships and networks, WIPO GREEN is helping ensure that all countries can benefit from the exciting innovations that are taking place in green technology.