Erica K. Smith

Executive Director of Intellect Management Services Incorporated


Erica K. Smith- Member of the Business Council for Intellectual Property

 

Erica K. Smith, as the Executive Director of Intellect Management Services Incorporated, stands at the forefront of pioneering the intersection between intellectual property (IP) and the creative industries. With a focus on working directly with SMEs and through business support organizations, her mission is to leverage intangible and intellectual property assets to underpin brand development and growth. Her comprehensive suite of services includes strategic guidance on IP integration in business plans, IP audits, risk mitigation strategies, IP valuation, commercialization strategies, training, capacity building, and shepherding services.

Erica's journey into the realm of intellectual property law began during her studies abroad, where her initial interest in technology transfer expanded to encompass IP as a critical commercial tool. Upon returning to the Caribbean, she ventured into the creative industries through an opportunity with the local copyright collective management organization. This role allowed her to marry her love for the arts with her expertise in IP, despite the region's general unfamiliarity with the concept of intellectual property at the time.

Her academic foundation includes undergraduate degrees in business management and law, alongside post-graduate degrees in international business, intellectual property law, international sports law and management, and intellectual property law and management. Her doctoral research focused on the role of collective management organizations in small developing economies in the digital age. This solid educational background, combined with her skills in capacity building, training, and course development, has been instrumental in her success.

Erica has been involved in various national IP strategies and plans across the Caribbean, influencing the development of the IP systems in countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada. She has also contributed to the co-chairing of the SME Committee of the International Institute for Intellectual Property Management and served as a tutor and visiting lecturer at prestigious institutions like the University of the West Indies and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Erica's professional journey is marked by her work in dynamically evolving creative industries, driven by digital technology and platforms.

Erica sees the creative industries as poised for continued growth, driven by a growing need for creative content and design-based competition. She is excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, combined with other technologies, to propel innovation, creativity, and access. Her advice to newcomers in the industry is to embrace change and be open to opportunities, even those beyond the obvious.

Despite operating in a small market with limited opportunities, Erica persists in the face of setbacks and challenges by staying attuned to market specificities and recognizing the need to serve a regional and global market. Inspired by visionaries like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Prof Dr. Alexander Wurzer, she remains committed to creativity, innovation, and strategic management of IP.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Erica is passionate about the circular and green economy, reflecting her commitment to sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change. Her personal interests include reading, music, beach life, swimming, and enjoying the outdoors, underscoring her connection to her Caribbean roots and the natural world.