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Below is our recent interview with Dr Roya Ghafele, Executive Director at OxFirst:
Q: Dr Roya Ghafele, let’s start with your background. What were you doing before OxFirst?
A: Key to my success is my aspiration for excellence, drive for innovation and desire to challenge the status quo. I have demonstrated that in many roles. First, I acted for the World Intellectual Property Organization as an economic advisor and helped Governments around the world come to grips with IP strategy. Prior to that I advised for the OECD and McKinsey. Getting the job at WIPO was very competitive. In fact, I was selected as the only one among nearly five hundred applicants.
After WIPO, I turned to Academia and worked for Oxford and Edinburgh University, following stints at Harvard and U.C. Berkeley. I am particularly proud to say that I succeeded in two distinct disciplines. In Edinburgh I obtained a tenured law faculty position within a really short period of time and in Oxford I was recognized as an international political economy scholar.
I feel quite privileged to be able to offer such a multi-facetted background to my clients. Quite few people can claim to have succeeded in two distinct disciplines; and this in the ‘real world’ as well as in ‘practice’. Clearly, the institutions OxFirst works with, benefit from such a high quality experience and commitment to their challenges.
Q: Dr Ghafele, you have just won a prize as ‘Top Intellectual Property Manager in the UK’. How much does it mean to you?
A: I very much hope that through this award, I will be able to inspire CEO’s, Board Members and Investors to turn their attention more systematically towards the management of intangibles. In an increasingly borderless world competition is global and decision makers cannot afford to ignore the intangible assets perspective. Wealth generation is driven by access and ownership of intellectual (property) assets and those who do not address this properly, may simply perish.
Q: Generally speaking, Dr Ghafele, do you think there’s a lack of awareness on IP? Why?
A: Depending on how IP and Competition is managed, it can help generate wealth or obstruct growth. Key is its adequate management. And this where there is a blind spot. Through OxFirst I am working towards changing that. IP is neither good, nor bad. IP is what you make out of it; key is to adopt a management perspective.
Q: Why is it important to manage IP?
A: In the 21st century wealth is increasingly intangible in nature. It is not the ownership of plants and factories that will be instrumental to wealth generation, but it is the ownership and adequate management of intellectual (property) assets that will make or break the success of corporations. Through OxFirst, I hope that I can lead companies through this path.
Q: How would you convince the reader to engage with OxFirst?
A: If you are looking to leverage innovation as an engine of growth, OxFirst is the ideal partner to engage with. Contrary to large consultancies, such as KPMG, we can bring to the table highly specialized expertise in the field of IP and Competition management. Our track record in this space is unrivalled and organizations that worked with us have been consistently able to generate or preserve wealth on the grounds of a strategic approach to IP and Competition.
OxFirst’s analysis has been instrumental in the definition of IP driven business models, been used in the sales and licensing of IP, but also helped companies in raising funds. Other than that, its work has been crucial in the formulation of Austria’s First National IP Strategy.
If you are keen on commercializing your IP, then get in touch with us!