Fung Institute joins forces with USIPA office to increase diversity in innovation

BERKELEY, CA, USA, JULY 26, 2021 — The United States Intellectual Property Alliance (USIPA) and the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley announce the start of their virtual conference on Increasing Diversity in Innovation (DII). The comprehensive four-day event will focus on how companies can better and more meaningfully incorporate their existing underrepresented inventors into the innovation ecosystem. The conference will feature a speaker line-up of notable business leaders and leading academics, along with members of the diversity & inclusion, technology, and intellectual property (IP) communities.

“Embracing diversity in invention and patenting is key to the US maximizing the potential of its innovation economy.” Said Scott Frank, Chair of the USIPA. “We are working to provide companies better tools and research to help them embrace and celebrate their workforce diversity into their innovation ecosystem. Working with UC Berkeley allows us to provide leading research and data on diversity, bias and its effects on innovation and inventorship to help companies work on these systemic issues.”

“The Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership is dedicated to creating inclusive leaders who solve the world’s problems through innovation, technology and collaboration across boundaries. We believe that diversity in innovation can greatly benefit from collaboration between academia and industry, which is why we very much look forward to working closely with the USIPA and leading technology firms to increase diversity and inclusion of underrepresented inventors. Now is the time.” — Stephany Prince, Executive Director, Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley.

A highlight of the virtual conference will be the showcasing of the Diversity Pledge, an industry initiative in which companies commit to implement best practices to increase inventor diversity and share relevant data. The Diversity Pledge was designed to facilitate collaboration among corporations who collectively represent the largest filers of US patents. Founding pledgees include over 25 companies spanning a variety of industries including consumer products, telecommunications, social media, software, finance and biologics among others.

The Diversity Pledge along with a list of the founding pledge companies can be found at www.increasingdii.org.

“Diversity within our community of inventors is and will continue to be key to identifying and meeting the needs of our growing consumer base around the globe.” — Ken K. Patel, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Chief Patent Counsel at the Procter & Gamble Company

“This industry thrives when the range of inventors contributing are as diverse as the people who use our products. The Diversity in Innovation Conference and Pledge will bring together companies to share insights and ideas on how to support underrepresented inventors and create more equitable opportunities for them.” — Allen Lo, VP and Deputy General Counsel, Product, IP and Legal Operations at Facebook

“We know that building teams with diverse perspectives leads to more creativity, better problem solving and better decision-making overall. There is vast untapped talent in our under-represented communities — and we know that the corporate world has traditionally presented barriers for that talent to succeed at the highest level. By joining the Diversity in Innovation pledge, F5 is working to build a network of the world’s best-known companies to help topple those barriers and unleash the potential that exists when everyone has an equal chance to participate in our global tech economy.” — François Locoh-Donou, President and Chief Executive Officer at F5

The virtual conference will explore the challenges companies face in making meaningful change related to Increasing Diversity in Innovation, from innovation collaboration, teaming, and mentoring, through the inventorship process. Session highlights include:

  • Unveiling a framework and company best practices for meaningful change
  • Understanding Inequity in Innovation
  • Broadening participation in the innovation process
  • Patent inequality — a look at the research
  • How to get your inventor diversity data
  • Uncovering bias behavior leading to meaningful change

“It is gratifying to see so many IP leaders and organizations join together to promote diversity of thought, experiences and ideas,” said Suzanne Harrison, USIPA Diversity & Inclusion co-chair. “USIPA and UC Berkeley working together allows us to educate and create diverse thinking employees who are then better utilized by companies to create increased profitability and a stronger American economy.”

To learn more about the USIPA, please visit www.usipalliance.org or contact Carol Beckham, at carol.beckham@usipalliance.org.

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