Global Innovation Networks and their Implications for the Multilateral Trading System

Date period
4 December 2013

Implemented jointly by ICTSD and the World Economic Forum, the E15Initiative convenes world-class experts and institutions to generate strategic analysis and recommendations for government, business and civil society geared towards strengthening the global trade and investment system for sustainable development. The Expert Group on Innovation is co-convened with the Evian Group @IMD and IMD.

This think piece examines the emergence of global innovations networks and their implications for multilateral trade rules. After pointing out, that the WTO agreements were reached with little direct attention paid to globally connected innovation and the close links among innovation, trade and investment, the think piece seeks to identify a number of options to enhance the contribution of multilateral trade rules in support of global innovation networks. Options examined include expanding GATS to encourage temporary mobility of skilled workers, considering whether procurement agreements should cover public research grants and in a longer term perspective, considering the possibility of negotiating a multilateral agreement at the WTO on access to basic science and technology (ABST).