It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since World IP Day in 2021. As I reflect, I am pleased to recognize that FMC has emerged stronger than ever; it feels like an appropriate time to celebrate the role that intellectual property (IP) plays in encouraging global innovation and creativity. Our team of talented researchers has harnessed that innovation and creativity during this unprecedented pandemic period.
The theme of World IP Day 2022 focuses on IP and Youth innovating for a Better Future. This theme encourages us to explore how innovative, energetic and creative minds continue to drive positive change. We actively encourage innovation and creativity at FMC by recruiting and retaining diverse emerging talent in our research and development (R&D) organization.
“Innovation is at the heart of our company and is an essential pillar of our overall business strategy,” said Dr. Kathy Shelton, executive vice president and chief technology officer for FMC. “Having a diverse organization of talented scientists enables FMC to create sustainable solutions for growers around the world. I am proud of the scientific talent we are able to attract and employ and their contributions to creating IP for FMC. They are building a foundation for the future of FMC and bringing our technology to the world."
Why should we be concerned with ensuring that scientists who are early in their careers are equipped to succeed? Innovation plays a crucial role in addressing and solving challenges, and young innovators are changing the landscape with the power of their ideas and ambitions for the future. It is essential to nurture their passion and determination. With support and mentorship, FMC ensures that young scientists are initiating change to improve outcomes in the agrichemical sector.
Of course, relying merely on a young talent pool is not enough. That is why FMC has had a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company’s success comes from the unique voices and viewpoints of people from different backgrounds, nationalities, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, professional capabilities and other diversity dimensions. Our diversity, equity and inclusion goals are designed to help us build toward a company that truly reflects the world around us.
Female inventors have developed life-changing innovations like ‘frequency hopping,’ which was co-invented by the actor and talented mathematician and engineer Hedy Lemarr. This innovation would later be used to develop WiFi and GPS systems. Yet of the over 900 recipients of the Nobel Prize, less than 60 were awarded to women and of that only four were awarded to black women. And in over 120 years, a black scientist has never won a Nobel prize. These facts highlight the need to encourage and enable an increasing number of young females and people of color to choose careers in science.
Continual innovation and creativity are vital for businesses like FMC to thrive, grow and adapt in changing times and challenging environments. Fostering a culture of innovation and creativity built on a young and diverse talent pool will be key to this endeavor. FMC is excited about what the future may hold for these individuals as they embark on their careers and contribute to the global store of IP.