European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency and European Patent Office deepen their cooperation to support innovation ecosystem in Europe

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The European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) haven taken a further step to deepen their cooperation by jointly supporting the development of breakthrough technologies and the innovation ecosystem in Europe. EPO President António Campinos and Jean-David Malo, Director of the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), in charge of implementing the European Innovation Council and other SME-related programmes, have signed a letter of intent to strengthen operational ties between both organisations.

The letter of intent commits the parties to provide assistance and support to innovators and entrepreneurs across Europe in turning their ideas into products and services, leveraging the EPO’s expertise. The EPO and EIC will also seek to increase patent valorisation and commercialisation by innovative SMEs, disruptive start-up and spin-off companies, and research organisations and universities through awareness-raising, outreach, training initiatives and support services.

EPO President Campinos underlined that this collaboration reflects the EPO’s ongoing commitment to support the global and European patent network and embolden Europe’s innovation ecosystem. Director Malo said: “Deep tech and knowledge-intensive companies rely on intangible assets, such as patents, for growth. By ensuring that our stakeholders – both researchers and innovative SMEs – pay due attention to the role and importance of such intangible assets, we can help them to realise the full potential of their ideas.”

The European Innovation Council is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations The EIC has been established under the EU Horizon Europe programme. It has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs. As co-operation between the EPO and EISMEA deepens, the EPO will deploy the expertise of its domain experts across several departments, including patent examination, the EPO Patent Academy and Patent Knowledge to support the work of the EIC, including its Programme Managers. The collaboration will focus on three key areas of activity:

  • Sharing insights on the technological competitiveness of the EU in light of patent trend analysis and mapping patenting activities
  • Education and training activities for EIC staff and beneficiaries with a view to improve patent valorisation and commercialisation by researchers and businesses and
  • Supporting the EIC’s evaluation to identify the projects with the highest potential for impact based on technological novelty, inventive merit and proposed future strategy.

The EPO Observatory on Patents and Technology will also be a key partner for EISMEA in deepening the understanding of start-up patent activity.

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