By Joanna Preston

On April 26, TEC Edmonton hosted a World Intellectual Property (IP) Day event that included a panel discussion with women inventors, researchers and business leaders. Joanna Preston, TEC Edmonton Associate Director of Technology Management (Health Sciences), wrote a guest post sharing her experience with the event. 

Led by the World Intellectual Property Office, World IP Day is more than a celebration of patents – it raises awareness of innovation’s essential role in creating a bright future.

The 2018 focus of World IP Day was “Women in Innovation and Creativity.”  Given women’s historic underrepresentation in science and technology, it is not surprising that women are also underrepresented as patent holders.  The surprisingly low number of women inventors I encountered while organizing the TEC event made it clear to me that a global focus on women innovators is sorely needed.

Throughout the panel discussion with the five women highlighted at TEC’s World IP Day event, one thing was very clear to me: recognition is not the primary driving factor for any of our panelists.  Some are motivated to prevent and cure devastating diseases, and others to create tests that improve the health and safety of others.  Some are intent on building and growing businesses while some thrive on basic discovery.  Each panelist, however, was surprised to be called an innovator.

To Dammika Manage, Babita Agrawal, Catalina Vasquez, Stephanie Yanow and Jodi McDonald – I hope that you and all the women innovators in our community recognize the substantial contributions you make by seeing the world just a little differently, and by having the courage to bring intellectual property to market for the benefit of those around you.

Learn more about TEC Edmonton’s Technology Management services here.