Today (26 April 2023) we celebrate World IP Day. This year's theme is "Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity".

Many of us have had the pleasure to work with female inventors, and the IP community is working hard to increase their numbers. For FICPI’s celebration of World IP Day 2023, we asked our members and the IP community at large, to nominate innovative women clients who have made a name for themselves in the innovation ecosphere.

An independent panel of FICPI judges considered factors including commercial success, benefit to society, inventiveness, news interest, and diversity background. We then interviewed our top three candidates and provide more insight into their innovation journeys in an article on each. 

FICPI thanks these inspiring candidates for their contributions to the IP ecosphere, and for sharing their stories with us. Congratulations to the winners and the runners up of this innovation celebration – we hope you enjoy their stories!

Many thanks to those who made nominations, to our nominees and judges, and sincere thanks to our editor, Catherine Dhanjal, for her time and expertise in coordinating the nominations, judging, interviews and write-ups!

Our judges

Thank you to our judging panel who evaluated the submissions across a range of criteria before arriving at the final placements:

The top three

1st place: Dr Isabel Schellinger is a medical doctor and scientist. In 2020 she co-founded Angiolutions, a German company that’s developing the world’s first implant to treat small abdominal aortic aneurysms. Click to read the full article

2nd place: Women in Stem Solving Problems (WISSP), The Pennington School, USA are helping to transform the lives of girls across Malawi through the development of a partly reusable sanitary pad which greatly increases the number of girls who can stay in education through their teenage years. Click to read the full article

3rd place: Dr Rachel Alkalay of Novel Concepts Medical (NCM) is an Israeli inventor whose inventions are based on compounds from plants that are designed to treat severe chronic diseases affecting millions of people such as diabetes, obesity, dementia, cancer, and long-Covid. Click to read the full article

The runners up

Dr Amandine Everard, Université Catholique de Louvain, Research Associate from the FNRS, WELBIO Investigator

Dr. Amandine Everard is an inventor of a dietary supplement containing the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila, which is associated with beneficial effects for metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity.”

Nominated by: Sharon CraneRothwell Figg, USA


Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi, Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), Dubai

"Dr. Bushra Al Blooshi: In addition to serving as the Head of Research and Innovation at Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC), Dr Bushra is leading Dubai Cyber Innovation Park and participating in many digital transformation strategic initiatives both nationally and internationally and holds patents in cryptography. She contributed to the development of R&D ecosystem in UAE universities.”

Nominated by: Ahmad Saleh, Partner, Al Tamimi & Co, Dubai


Şebnem Elif Kocaoglu Ulbrich, Contextual Solutions, Berlin 

Şebnem Elif Kocaoglu Ulbrich: The nominee is a qualified lawyer working at the crossroads of law and business. The boutique consultancy she founded, Contextual Solutions, serves FinTech, and LegalTech start-ups directing them in regulatory-efficient business modelling. In addition, she actively works on awareness building and education via tech content and mentorship.”

Nominated by: Aysen Kunt, Kodiak Law, Turkey  


Ms Qing Zhang, Toolbox Design Pty Ltd, Australia

“Ms Qing Zhang is an enthusiastic inventor with a business acumen. She founded H & L Toolbox Design Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia, specialising in designing and manufacturing quality aluminium toolboxes, canopies and trailer covers for UTEs, trucks or trailers. She invented a new security lock for the toolboxes, which prevents the lock from being broken by thieves while locked. Conventionally, the handle of a lock will be fixed to a position while it's locked. However, thieves can still forcibly rotate the handle to break the lock even if it's locked. The new security lock invented by Ms Qi Zhang allows its handle to rotate while being locked, so the lock can't be broken by forcibly rotating the handle. This invention is now patented, Australian Patent No. 2018101222.”

Nominated by: Dr Qi ZhangBaxter IP, Australia


Dr Shira Burg, Symbiosis C.M., Israel 

Dr. Shira Burg is the CEO and Founder of Symbiosis C.M., an innovative medical device company dedicated to developing a sealing and anchoring platform for irregular anatomies shaped in real time, serving as an equator allowing optimal fit and better performance for existing medical devices (invented by Shira).”

Nominated by: David de Vries, and Myriam SchnurCohn, de Vries, Stadler & Co. CDS- LUTHI Group, Israel 


Tasneem Karodia, Mzansi Meat

Tasneem Karodia is the COO and co-founder of Mzansi Meat in South Africa. They are doing cutting edge research, development and commercialisation in the field of cultivated meat. Tasneem is well-known and has appeared on the BBC and in other media outlets, discussing the future of cultivated meat and its impact on society.”

Nominated by: Rory MooreVon Seidels, South Africa 


Trine Lerum Hjellhaug, Lerum AS, Norway

Trine Serum Hjellhaug: Lerum (founded in 1907) is a family-driven company now run by the fourth generation, with 4 women at the steering wheel. From what I understand, the innovation speed and consciousness about IP has only increased in force with women at the steering wheel. The company has been built from a tiny fruit syrup producing company in a narrow fjord on the western coast of Norway and developed into a comprehensive forward-thinking quality-minded marmalade, fruit syrup and fruit juice producing company with a strong focus on history and quality. Part of the forward-thinking side of the company is always assessing the need for intellectual property and how this strengthens the company and the products themselves.”

Nominated by: Elisabeth Ohm, ACAPO, Norway


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