The EPO provides the backdrop for a vibrant, multilayered dialogue between contemporary art on the one hand and science, technology and innovation on the other. Since 1978, frequent commissions have been given to artists for works for the Office's buildings in Munich, The Hague and Vienna. In parallel, the Office curates a collection of conceptual contemporary art that shapes the daily work environment of staff.
Six public art competitions were held by the EPO to invite artists for commissions in the architectural planning phase. This is an opportunity to lend a sense of uniqueness to the EPO, and to make this visible to the public.
Besides site-specific installations, the EPO has a collection of contemporary art that grows through acquisitions. The collection now includes about 500 works by around 250 artists from 32 countries.
The EPO's task of granting European patents and the technical and scientific educational background of its patent examiners are a key orientation for the collection's ethos.
Since 2009, eight publications have been published on works of the comprehensive collection. The collection is also object of best practice publications and academic papers.