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Vol.14 Issue 2 (2018)

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, Innovation-Driven Development

Stanley P. Kowalski

For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to sustainably build, foster, and sustain accelerated transformation towards globally networked knowledge-based, innovationdriven, economic development in the 21st century, a suite of internationally-standardized best practices (BP) in intellectual property (IP) management and technology transfer (techtransfer) 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 overstressed, 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) were to do this, 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 that the UAE faces, the necessity to not
only leap-frog from a petroleum-based 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.


J.D., Ph.D. UNH School of Law International Technology Transfer Institute (ITTI) Concord, NH 03301USA.

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