Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein



Media Release
7 October 2015

Geneva, Switzerland

Australia Provides $3 Million to WIPO to Assist Least-Developed and Developing Countries

This week, during the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assemblies, the Australian Government announced a new investment of AUD$3 million to support a second WIPO-Australia Funds in Trust (FIT) program.

The new three-year funding will build on the successes of the first FIT program and extend the work to new partner countries and expand support for innovative intellectual property (IP) activities.

Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, Hamish McCormick, said Australia’s contribution recognises the strong collaboration between WIPO and Australia and will continue to have real benefit for partner countries.

“Australia’s contribution demonstrates its commitment to assisting least-developed and developing countries to promote and protect their creativity and innovation through the intellectual property and multilateral system,” he said.

IP Australia Director General, Patricia Kelly, said that she is pleased to be able to build on the outcomes achieved under the first FIT. “IP Australia is proud to continue the work of the WIPO Australia Funds in Trust program, which will allow our partner countries to develop their IP systems and enhance their capacity to use IP to aid economic development”.

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, thanked the Government of Australia for its support. “WIPO is very grateful for the generous contribution from Australia which will enable continuation of the important work being done and the development of the capacity of least developed and developing countries to take advantage of the economic benefits of innovation and creativity.”

IP Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are working with WIPO to expand innovative capacity building IP programs that will benefit developing and least developed countries, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

The first FIT program began in 2012 with an investment of AUD$2 million. These funds were invested in a range of innovative projects to help build capacity and address gaps in IP systems in developing and least developed partner countries. The funds have supported a diverse range of programs, including the development of national IP strategies, supporting researchers from developing countries to undertake placements in world leading laboratories (under the WIPO Re:Search program), and supporting the production of books for people with print disabilities through the Accessible Books Consortium.

The FIT forms part of the Australian Government’s aid for trade strategy, which aims to foster sustainable economic growth and prosperity and reduce poverty in the Indo-Pacific region. For more information on Australia’s aid for trade strategy see: