Building an IP-savvy Workforce

Posted on 21 Sep, 2022
By IPOS International

In recent years, Singapore has seen a surge in demand for intellectual property education as we become a global innovation hub. Working professionals and the future workforce now recognise the importance of intellectual property or IP for business growth, and not just legal protection.


At Singapore’s tertiary institutions, more are taking up specialised IP programmes in a move to become part of an IP-savvy workforce. Likewise, enterprises in the technology and innovation space are building internal IP capabilities. Lazada and Lenovo are two such companies.


The eCommerce industry is highly competitive and the race to scale and gain market share is intense. Against this backdrop, an eCommerce company’s IA/IP assets play a very vital role in its success. 
[Joyce Ang, Senior Vice President – Intellectual Property Protection (IPP), Lazada]

The knowledge gained has helped to make improvements to the internal systems and processes to protect our customers and employees.
[Janelle Tan, Brand Cooperation Manager – Intellectual Property Protection (IPP), Lazada / Master of IP and Innovation Management (MIPIM) alumni]

Knowledge of IP is also very useful for employees in non-IP roles like our engineers and marketing people to create value-add in the work that they do. 
[MJ Chai, Lead Senior Counsel – Intellectual Property, Lenovo]


To meet the rising demand for IP expertise, IPOS International—which runs Singapore’s dedicated academy for IP training, has stepped up its game. It intensified collaborations with universities to integrate IP modules into their innovation and entrepreneurship majors. Efforts have paid off.


Across three Singapore universities, the number of students taking IP specialisation modules has grown substantially.

  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) - 50% increase in intake for Master of IP and Innovation Management (MIPIM) programme (2017-2019)
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – 62% increase in enrolment for IP specialisation modules (2020-2022)
  • National University of Singapore (NUS) - 70% increase in number of students taking the IP module in the Master of Science in Venture Creation (MsVC) programme (2021-2022)


We speak to Professor Yue at NUS to learn about the driving force for IP education and why it is critical.


We have been able to develop a startup culture in Singapore and to do startups, IP knowledge and IP understanding is absolutely critical, especially in deep tech, where we can make big, global impact.
[Professor Yue Chee Yoon, Director - NUS Enterprise]


To support the innovation community, IPOS International now offers SUSS’s Master of IP and Innovation Management in two shorter Graduate Diploma programmes for working professionals. It has launched IP arbitration modules and mediation programmes at NUS law school. Across the board, it leverages eLearning to make content more accessible.


Alumni students are benefitting from these positive developments.


I have a better understanding of IP and how innovation should then be managed and protected in my organization.
[Vishnupriya Naidu, Digital Transformation and Innovation role in the public sector and MIPIM alumni]

If I could have my own business in the future or I would work for a company who had the same (IP) issue in the future, I can avoid this.
[Vicky Huang, Recent graduate from NUS Master of Science in Venture Creation (MsVC)]

This module taught us the basics of IP for entrepreneurs like me, and it also taught us how to protect our technology when we expand into the global market, we don't want to let our technology get into the wrong hands.

I have more connections through the mentors and also, we really start up, open a new company and got a NUS GRIP investment. 
[Paige Yang Ping & Zaid Ahmed Khan, Co-founders - M.I. Cloud tech Pte Ltd and MsVC alumni]


With strong demand for IP-centric programmes and support from private and public sectors, Singapore is well on its way to building an IP savvy workforce.

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