After the successful completion of the previous funding period, a new consortium of four partners now takes up its work for the next contractual term of the European Intellectual Property (IP) Helpdesk.
Managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) on behalf of the European Commission, the initiative supports cross-border SME and research activities to manage, disseminate and valorise technologies and other IP assets at an EU level.
The new consortium receives EUR 3 million funding for an initial period of three years, and will be coordinated by the German SME EURICE – European Research and Project Office GmbH. EURICE has been responsible for the training and communication activities of the service already in the previous three years term. The consortium is completed by the Spanish academic partners University of Alicante and University of Navarra as well as the German technology transfer company TUM-Tech GmbH.
Strategic shift of focus: from IPR support to solution-oriented IP capacity building
While building on the achievements and vast experience gained in previous contractual periods, the new service will focus even more on practical aspects of the management and hands-on use of IP:
“Moving from ‘IPR’ to ‘IP’ is not only reflected in the new official name of the service, but is part of a gradual shift from providing IPR information and support to a broader understanding of IP capacity building”, said Jörg Scherer, Managing Director of EURICE and coordinator of the new European IP Helpdesk consortium. “Our vision is to truly tailor the nature of our services to the needs of the community; and we believe that an increased involvement of external experts with strong backgrounds and practical experience in fields such as technology transfer, licensing or Open Innovation concepts will help us to turn this vision into reality.”
As before, all services of the European IP Helpdesk will be free of charge, and central offers such as the helpline, library, and training scheme will be maintained. Yet, in order to meet the current needs of the European innovation community the existing service portfolio will be complemented by new and reviewed online information formats, case studies and an even more intensive event and web training schedule specifically targeting SMEs.
Moreover, the team will reinforce the well-established "Ambassador" cooperation scheme with the Enterprise Europe Network. Aiming to strengthen collaboration and to increase the overall visibility of the European IP Helpdesk ambassadors not only towards their local SME communities but also within the network, the scheme will remain a central pillar in reaching out to SMEs at the national/local level helping them foster competitiveness and growth through a better understanding of their IP assets.