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    SDG Goal 17 and the role of IP for its success

    Partnerships is one of the broad themes (5Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships) within the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and simultaneously — a specific Goal 17 within the SDG. 

    "Partnerships" focuses on the means of implementing and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development, encouraging everyone to team up to implement the SDG goals and targets. 

    In this sense, while the other 16 goals focus on specific thematic areas, Goal 17 is in fact an enabler for the whole 2030 Agenda. It also includes twice as many targets compared to the average of the other 16 goals. 

    Put differently, strong successful Partnerships are essential for the success of the whole 2030 Agenda.

    There are, of course, many things to discuss and agree upon to ensure that your Partnership is a success (and that applies to absolutely any partnership!). However, we would like to focus on the Intellectual property side of these discussions. 

    Intellectual property is a general term covering a broad range of assets: trademarks, patents, copyright, trade secrets, know-how, designs and so on. The uniting feature of all of them is that they are a product of human ingenuity, of human mind and creativity. 

    Another uniting feature is that IP can have a tremendous value-generating potential. Did you know that in the most valuable companies of today the value split between tangibles and intangibles is 20 to 80 in favour of the latter? 

    In a collaborative setting, who will own this perhaps the most valuable asset? How to derive the best value out of innovation both commercially and socially? How to retain the control of your IP needed to ensure the quality? Are you willing to share your existing IP with your partners and under which conditions? And what about the partner of your partner? Or the reverse - how would your partner feel about you sharing/using the IP, you created together, with someone else? How would your IP-related choices ensure mutually beneficial results? Will your IP approach contribute to sustainability or rather hinder it?

    Some of the above questions in a particular situation will be more relevant than others. Or depending on the setup there will be other IP-related matters to discuss. 

    The one thing is certain though - to ensure that your Partnerships hold, there needs to be clarity in respect of the IP-related matters. 

    If you need support with this or have any questions you would like to discuss, please drop us an e-mail at or directly to Elena Bachert at or to Maria Boicova-Wynants at

    We would be delighted to assist you in making your Partnership journey successful and smooth sailing.

    STARKS. Your sustainable growth supporter.

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