Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs) as a catalyst for innovation and technology transfer

Monday, November 2, 2020

Innovation can come from any country and takes many forms. In the Global Innovation Index (GII), among the innovation metrics used as a measure of Innovation Outputs are data on patent filings, patent families, and intellectual property (IP) receipts and payments. However, not all innovators have local access to the technological insight and related IP services they need to fully capture and protect their IP rights. For GII policymakers interested in improving their GII performance in patents and IP indicators and facilitating technology transfer for their local innovators, the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO’s) Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) program and its related products and services make a significant contribution to an intellectual property policy toolkit.


Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCS)


Discussions at a TISC within the national network coordinated by the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC)


With WIPO’s support in building capacity and skills to effectively access and use patent and non-patent information, the TISC program assists and empowers inventors and entrepreneurs, building on the rich set of technology information disclosed in more than 110 million published patent documents and scores of scientific and technical publications.


Typically located in institutions such as patent offices, universities, research centers, or science and technology parks, TISCs provide on-the-ground information and assistance to innovators where they need it most. From state of the art to novelty, freedom to operate searches, as well as assistance and advice on IP management and commercialization, TISCs provide a diverse range of services at different stages in the innovation cycle. These services also include the drafting of patent landscape reports illustrating technical and business trends for specific technologies, which allow TISCs to charge nominal fees to recuperate their additional efforts and expenses in offering such value-added services.


Training provided by WIPO underpins the development of knowledge and skills among TISC staff, building their capacity through on-site workshops and seminars with a focus on training of trainers, distance learning carried out in cooperation with the WIPO Academy, and “Ask the Expert” sessions and webinars on specific topics.


Since the TISC program was launched in 2009, 80 countries, of which 26 are least developed countries (LDCs), have signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with WIPO to develop national TISC networks. As of mid-2020, nearly 1,200 TISCs have been established.


WIPO’s toolkit to support TISCs


WIPO has also developed a number of initiatives, publications, training materials and tools designed to help TISCs perform their role as catalysts for innovation:



The first WIPO Technology Trends (WITT) report on Artificial Intelligence


  • Analytical publications that provide insights into patent and technology trends:
    • Patent landscape reports provide technical and business information of particular relevance to developing countries in areas such as public health, food and agriculture, environment, energy, and disabilities.
    • WIPO Technology Trends (WITT) reports provide industry, academia, and policy makers with trends in different technologies based on patent and non-patent data, with the first two issues dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (2019) and Assistive Technology (to be published early 2021).


Is your institution interested in hosting a TISC? Contact your national or regional IP office to learn more.


Andrew Czajkowski is Director of the Technology and Innovation Support Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization.


Cover photo: Girl with red hat on Unsplash

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