World Intellectual Property Day: celebrating access to information for innovation

Published: Friday 24th April 2020
Category: Blog
© lovelyday12 / Adobe Stock

The choices we make today will shape our lives tomorrow. This World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, will celebrate innovation and the intellectual property rights that support it, in an effort to create a green future.

We talked to our colleagues at ARDI, Research4Life’s program for development and innovation resources, coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), about the milestones of the program. 

The mission of the Access to Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) program is to foster creativity and innovation, supporting researchers in creating new solutions to technical challenges on a local and global level. The program provides free online access to major scientific and technical journals to local, not-for-profit institutions in least-developed countries.

Sustainable Development Goals

ARDI is unique in providing access to a variety of technologies aimed at improving the quality of people’s everyday lives, including access and use of green technologies, assistive technologies for disabled persons, and more, supporting all the areas of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Specifically, the program’s contribution to SDG9 “Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” is most evident in WIPO’s work on their Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs).

WIPO also works closely with ITOCA, a capacity-building organisation focused on Africa, to deliver Research4Life training in African countries with TISCs. Innovators can benefit from support for a range of services, including search, analysis, reporting, intellectual property asset management and commercialization.

ARDI in numbers

  • Up to 8,600 journals
  • Up to 34,000 books
  • Up to 30 other resources, including specialized dictionaries and encycloplediae

At the start of the program in 2009, there were only a few institutions registered, while today, over 20 years later, there are 2300. The growth of TISCs during the last decades, now reaching 80 countries with 1000 centers, has also contributed to the use of ARDI in technical and scientific institutions, primarily universities. Read below for stories from our users!

Hear from ARDI users

Francina Ngula Simataa Makondo has recently been awarded a grant through the Librarians without Borders funding program. As a Deputy University Librarian, Makonda will organize a workshop in Lusaka (Zambia) on the resources in GOALI and ARDI for legal researchers, judges and legal experts. The training will also reach governmental agencies and institutions of higher learning.

“Having access to the journals available in ARDI helped us to create a student information platform at our university,” said John Okuonzi, lecturer at Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda, last year in an interview. Dr. Okuonzi shared his experience at the 2019 Research4Life partner meeting. The new system allowed his university to substantially reduce the time required to register a student, which could previously take up to three days.

Cynthia Kimani organized Research4Life trainings across the ten campuses of the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), ramping up research output and proving the library is a digital backbone of research. Kimani also organized a course on ARDI for KEMRI’s Intellectual Property Department. “Because KEMRI has ventured into the area of innovative research activities, access to research for development and innovation will be vital,” she commented.

Uganda’s largest institution of higher learning, Makerere University, boosts usage of evidence-based information through Research4Life. As a national e-resources coordinator, Caroline Kobusingye often travels outside of the capital Kampala to provide training in Research4Life and other electronic resources. She urges librarians she met to sign up for Research4Life programs, including ARDI.

Get started with ARDI

All Research4Life users can access journals, books and other resources availabe through ARDI! Log in via the button in the navigation bar on our website, and select the ARDI program.