Innovating for Better Health: Supporting Young Innovators Through IP

26 April 2022 Geneva, CH

26 April 2022




Conference Hall, World Intellectual Property Organization, 34 Chemin des Colombettes, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland


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With its concentration on youth and innovation, this World IP Day is a unique occasion to come together at WIPO with young innovators and policy makers to highlight the flourishing of youth innovation that helps shape our world – and solutions to the world’s greatest health challenges.

Young entrepreneurs, especially young women and those in low- and middle-income countries, face financial barriers, as well as low visibility with investors and policymakers, limited understanding of IP and incentive systems, and lack of support from business mentors.

The high-level event and panel discussions will showcase outstanding young innovators in health, the challenges they face, and the mentors/supporters that can help them in their journeys to improve health outcomes and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Register now to attend in person or online. Please also visit our social media hub to amplify the event and show how you’re supporting young health innovators!

Event recording




In-person premiere of World IP Day motion graphic video


Welcome by Nadine Hakizimana, Youth Engagement Facilitator, Office of the Assistant Director General, WIPO


Welcome & intro by Edward Kwakwa, ADG, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, WIPO


Keynote by H.E. Mr. Léopold Ismael Samba, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva and Vienna
Dean of the African Ambassadors and Coordinator for Health for the Afro Group in Geneva


Keynote by Her Excellency Tatiana Molcean, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Chair WIPO General Assembly 


Audience poll by Brian Li Han Wong, Youth Officer, Governing Health Futures 2030


Youth and innovation: Protecting our health futures through IP

Panel discussion and Q&A showcasing outstanding young innovators in health, the challenges they face, and the mentors/supporters that can help them in their journeys to improve health outcomes and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It will look at how innovations are leapfrogging existing infrastructure and embedding change in communities.

Moderated by Brian Li Han Wong, Youth Officer, Governing Health Futures 2030, featuring:

  • Yacine Djibo, Founder, Speak Up Africa
  • Dexter Galban, CEO and Founder, Alaga Health
  • Allison Mages, Head of the IP Commercialization Section,  WIPO
  • Conrad Tankou, CEO, GIC Space; African Young Innovators for Health Awardee

Announcement and screening of World IP Day Youth Video Competition Winners


Catalyzing innovation in health: Bridging the gender gap

This panel discussion and Q&A focuses on how young women innovators can be empowered and the specific, additional challenges they face from a gender lens.

Moderated by Brian Li Han Wong, Youth Officer, Governing Health Futures 2030, featuring:

  • Jennifer Brant, CEO and Founder, Innovation Insights
  • Nuriat Nambogo, Team Lead, MobiCare; Women’s Innovation Incubator Awardee
  • Dr Prativa Pandey, CEO and Founder, Catalyst Technology and Herveda Botanicals
  • Maria del Pilar Noriega, PhD, R&D and Innovation Director, DAABON

Closing remarks by Marco Aleman, DDG, IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, WIPO


Closing remarks by Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA

End of meeting / closing poll


Reception, including live musical performances from:

  • Anaïs – Anaïs- Acoustic singer, multi-instrumentalist with an indie folk sound and jazz influences.
  • Kathyta Fuentes – A Chilean singer based in Geneva who founded the musical group SUYAI. Together they perform a repertoire inspired by the Latin American Folklorika
  • LUVANGA – Amapiano artist blending hip-hop, afrobeats, house, and pop melodies to explore Afro-diasporic sonic futurities.
  • Stogie-T – Tanzanian-born, South African hip-hop pioneer whose uncompromising lyricism continues to speak truth to power


Brian Li Han Wong Moderator; Youth Officer, Governing Health Futures 2030

Brian Li Han Wong is an entrepreneur, public health advocate & practitioner, and multidisciplinary researcher interested in ageing and life course, digital health, global health governance, immunisation/vaccination policy, and youth engagement.

He is currently undertaking a social innovation fellowship with Year Here and works as Youth Officer for The Lancet & Financial Times Commission on Governing Health Futures 2030: Growing up in a digital world. He sits on the Steering Committees for the EUPHA Digital Health Section and the WHO Youth Council. He is also a member of the ASPHER COVID-19 Task Force and sits on the Board of Trustees for UK Model WHO.

Marco Alemán Assistant Director General, IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, WIPO

Marco M. Alemán, studied law at the Javeriana University (J.D., 1991) where he also obtained a Corporate Law Certificate (L.L.M., 1996). He then obtained a Diploma in Advanced Studies (DEA) in Research at the Alcala University (Spain, 2006), and a Ph.D. in Law (2011, Cum Laude).

Mr. Alemán practiced as an IP Attorney from 1991 to 1995. He was then appointed Head of the Colombian Industrial Property Office, from 1995 to 1998, and was invited as a Fellow Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany in 1998. He joined WIPO in 1999 as Senior Program Officer, Office of Cooperation for Development for Latin America and the Caribbean (from 1999 to 2006). He was then appointed Deputy Director in the Division for Public Policy and Development (from 2006 to 2009), Deputy Director of the Patent Law Division (from 2009 to 2013), and went on to be Director of the Patent Law Division.

He currently holds the position of Assistant Director General, leading the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector (IES).

Jennifer Brant CEO and Founder, Innovation Insights

Jennifer has more than 20 years of experience providing public policy research and analysis, and developing and executing communications and policy advocacy strategies.

She works with and advises leading innovators from the private sector, along with industry groups, NGOs, and international organizations such as the WHO and WIPO. Her work centers on global market access and regulatory issues, notably in the areas of technological innovation, healthcare, cybersecurity, intellectual property, and trade.

Since 2010, she has led her own consulting business. Jennifer sponsors and mentors junior female professionals working in government affairs, and she a longstanding member of the International Gender Champions network. Jennifer has an M.A. in International Development and Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS, an M.A. in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and a B.A. in International Relations from UCLA, all with the highest honors.

Thomas Cueni Director General, IFPMA

As Director General, Thomas leads IFPMA’s mission to encourage the development of sustainable solutions that enable innovation and improve global health.

Over the past two decades, Thomas has been instrumental in developing collaborative solutions for some of the greatest global health challenges. These include HIV/AIDS and antimicrobial resistance, as well as the industry’s response to pandemics.

He is frequently called upon to comment on industry’s contribution to global health in the world media and at international fora.

Since he joined IFPMA, Thomas has pioneered collaborative solutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), chairing the AMR Industry Alliance and launching the AMR Action Fund. This is a USD 1 billion venture begun in July 2020 to fund the development of between two and four new antibiotics by 2030.

Thomas represents the innovative pharmaceutical industry in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative, set up in April 2019. In 2022, together with industry CEOs and building on the lessons learned from COVID-19, he led the development of the Berlin Declaration. This is a vision for equitable access in global pandemic response that invites multilateral organizations as well as the G7 and G20 to agree to a social contract for future health security.

He is Chair of the Business at OECD Health Committee and serves as Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics.

Yacine Djibo Founder, Speak Up Africa

Yacine Djibo founded Speak Up Africa in 2011 to discover and implement effective, sustainable solutions to the most challenging problems facing the African people. Focusing on strategic communications, policy and advocacy, Speak Up Africa is dedicated to collaborating with African leaders and citizens to take on issues such as malaria, neglected tropical diseases and sanitation in order to save and improve lives.

Yacine Djibo currently sits on the Board of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Faecal Sludge Management Alliance and serves in an advisory capacity to several organizations, including the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA), GeneConvene Global Collaborative, UNITLIFE and WomenLift Health.

Dexter Galban CEO & Founder, Alaga Health

Commissioner Dexter A. Galban, RN, RBP, MD-MBA, MPM is a multi-awarded public servant, health professional, social impact entrepreneur, corporate trainer, development consultant, and NGO adviser. He earned his Doctor of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration (MD-MBA) double degree and a Masters in Public Management (MPM) degree from the Ateneo de Manila University upon receiving his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of the Philippines.

With over 12 years of management experience in government, the business sector, and civil society organizations, he leads both the digital health enterprise Alaga Health and the training & management consultancy firm Experto PlayLabs International Consultancy as their Chief Executive Officer & Founder. In 2019, he was appointed by the President of the Philippines as the youngest Commissioner of the Commission on Population & Development (POPCOM) under the National Economic & Development Authority (NEDA), the primary government agency tasked with localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nadine Hakizimana Youth Engagement Facilitator, Office of the Assistant Director General, WIPO

Nadine Hakizimana is of Rwandan heritage, born in Botswana and raised in South Africa, and has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

She is WIPO’s Youth Engagement Facilitator and supports initiatives that help young people unlock their full potential to innovate meaningfully and to benefit from their ingenuity using the global intellectual property system. Nadine has supported education and skills development programs for migrants at Panaf in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

She did internships at ITU as well as UNCTAD and thereafter became a fellow for ICT and Gender Mainstreaming at the People Centered Internet. Nadine was also a WSIS Youth Campaigner, advocating for increased youth participation in global discourse around ICT for development through the auspices of the annual WSIS Forum. She has also done communications, marketing, and promotional work at UNAIDS ESA and worked as a Community Coordinator for development projects across the world, together with a team of young SDG community advocates.

Edward Kwakwa Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, WIPO

Edward Kwakwa is Assistant Director General, Global Challenges and Partnerships Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. He served as General Counsel at WIPO from 2004 until September 2016.

Kwakwa holds an LL.B. degree from the University of Ghana, an LL.M. from Queen’s University in Canada, and an LL.M. and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School in the U.S.A.

Before joining WIPO, Kwakwa practiced with the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers in
Washington, D.C., worked as International Legal Adviser at the Commission on Global Governance in Geneva, as Senior Legal Adviser at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and as Legal Affairs Officer at the World Trade
Organization (WTO).

Allison Mages Head of the IP Commercialization Section , WIPO

Allison Mages is the Head of the IP Commercialization Section at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Building on her experience as an intellectual property attorney for a Fortune 500 company and an inventor, her team empowers enterprises, innovators, and creators to maximize their potential through the creation and commercialization of IP.

Ms. Mages work at WIPO also focuses on how companies can tap into their intangible assets to secure capital.

Ms. Mages has worked from the earliest spark of an idea to seeing companies through successful exits. She is an inventor on five patents, related to medical imaging, surgical navigation and data analytics.

As an IP lawyer at General Electric, she built and managed IP portfolios to support commercial objectives, used intellectual property as a source of competitive intelligence, and managed IP and technology aspects of M&A transactions. At WIPO, Ms. Mages has worked with more than 50 countries to develop their legislative frameworks and support businesses through their creativity and ingenuity.

Ms. Mages earned her Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and is a graduate of the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is a member of the Connecticut bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Her Excellency Tatiana Molcean Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Chair WIPO General Assembly

Tatiana Molcean is serving as Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Geneva since September 2020.

Her current mandate includes a wide range of areas, both related to the multilateral issues ranging from security, human rights, to trade, intellectual property rights, infrastructure, and sustainable development, as well as bilateral cooperation with the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Previously to her posting in Geneva, Ms. Molcean served for 3 years as State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Moldova. In this capacity, one of the priorities of the mandate was dedicated to the development of multilateral relations and cooperation with international organisations, including with the WIPO.

Ambassador Molcean is a career diplomat, who joined the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Moldova in 2004.

Tatiana Molcean speaks English, French and Russian.

Nuriat Nambogo Team Lead, MobiCare; Women's Innovation Incubator Awardee

Nuriat Nambogo is the co-founder and CEO of MobiCare, a mobile-based platform that bridges the gap between patients and medical professionals through appointment scheduling.

After losing her pregnancy due to failure to consult a doctor in time and the long queues at most health facilities, Nuriat developed the innovation that allows patients to access and consult doctors they need at the right time in their preferred health facilities. The application also helps doctors manage their daily schedules at the different health facilities where they have patient appointments and plan for future reviews.

Away from entrepreneurship, Nuriat mentors young innovators in root cause analysis and aligning their solutions to the problems they are trying to solve. Through her work at the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, she assists teams in identifying and applying for funding opportunities for their innovations. She has served as a mentor and judge at various innovation-related competitions at institutional and national levels.

H.E. Mr. Léopold Ismael Samba Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva and Vienna Dean of the African Ambassadors and Coordinator for Health for the Afro Group in Geneva

His Excellency Léopold Ismael SAMBA is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Swiss Confederation, Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations in Geneva and Vienna.

Ambassador Samba is the Dean of the African Ambassadors in Geneva.
Principal Civil Administrator of exceptional Class, Mr Léopold Ismael SAMBA held various important positions within the civil service before being appointed Ambassador in 2007. He also carried out several consultations and studies in the fields of the application of a labour-intensive programme in the fight against poverty, and on poor governance.

He holds a diploma from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA); a Master’s degree in Economics with a major in Development Economics from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne UER 15; a Diploma from the Institut International D’Administration Publique de Paris (IIAP, currently ENA) in International Relations-International Economic Relations, a Diploma of Higher Specialised Studies (DESS) in Economic Sciences with the option of Rural Development from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (UER 15); a Diploma from the International Law Institute (IDLI) in Rome (Agreements and Treaties – Negotiation Techniques).

Mr Léopold Ismael SAMBA has received the following honorary distinctions: Commander of the Central African Order of Merit; Officer of the Central African Order of Merit; Knight of the Central African Order of Merit.

María del Pilar Noriega, PhD R&D and Innovation Director, DAABON

Dr. Noriega is a Chemical Engineer of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB), Medellin, Colombia, and holds a doctorate degree (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, USA, 2001. She has graduate studies in polymer chemistry of the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) and in polymer extrusion of the institute IKT, University of Stuttgart (Germany).

She is a fellow of the Extrusion Division Board of Directors of Society of Plastics Engineers, SPE, USA, and co-author of five technical books and numerous papers in international journals. She is co-inventor of four patents granted in Colombia, two granted patents in the U.S., five international patent applications, one patent application in USA and one patent application in Colombia.

She is member of the Mission of Wise Men of Colombia (2019). She was coordinator of the intellectual property network for industry and energy (SECOPIND) since its creation in 2008 until 2019. She was Director General of ICIPC (Plastic and Rubber Research Institute) from June 2012 until June 2019 and Technical Director of ICIPC from 1997 until 2012.

Prativa Pandey CEO and Founder, Catalyst Technology and Herveda Botanicals

Dr. Prativa Pandey, Founder/CEO of Catalyst Technology and Herveda Botanicals, is a researcher and a science entrepreneur. She is a researcher at Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology and a visiting faculty at RECAST, Tribhuvan University.

Her research is focused on the value addition of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Nepal. She has. a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and Nanotechnology, and Certificate in Management from Northwestern University, USA. She has 15 years of research and industrial experience in the US, Singapore, and Nepal and has been awarded various national and international S&T awards.

She has published several research reports, articles, and holds 3 US patents. She serves as an executive board member of various organizations related to innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, as an STI expert. She is co-leading efforts to initiate Business Development Centers (BDC) at Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association Nepal (FWEAN) as a Board member. She has also contributed significantly in drafting the most recent Intellectual Property (IP) Policy, and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy of Nepal in coordination with the relevant ministries. She is an executive member of Intellectual Property Protection Society Nepal (IPPSON) and has conducted several IP related workshops for the government officials and private sector stakeholders.

Conrad Tankou CEO, GIC Space; African Young Innovator for Health Awardee

Conrad Tankou is a medical doctor passionate about maternal and child health. He founded the Global Innovation and Creative Space (GIC Space) in Cameroun, focusing on creating innovative and sustainable med-tech solutions that enable affordable healthcare access to more than 10,000 women in impoverished and underserved communities in Africa.

Through their GICMED tech, GIC Space allows instant screening and diagnosis of breast and cervical cancer with real-time pathology at the point of care for women living in the most remote settings. GICMED also deploys a mobile treatment unit to treat early-stage cervical cancerous legions.

Before GICMED, Conrad co-founded Gifted Mom, a simple-yet-incredible mobile platform that sends vaccination notifications and other pregnancy-related facts to pregnant women and new mothers in rural areas. By sending the word “mom” to 8006, women would have access to primary and simple information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and child vaccinations in English, French and four widely spoken traditional languages in West Africa. On top of receiving health information, the platform allowed women to ask health questions and receive advice via SMS.

Dr Tankou’s innovations and work has been recognized by the Next Einstein Forum, Total Startupper program, and finalist at the 2021 CISCO Global Problem Solver Challenge, amongst many other awards and recognitions. Dr Tankou was previously on the Quartz Africa Innovators top 30 list of pioneers.