Academic Research Programme

Academic Research Group

Applications are now closed for 2018

Why has the EPO introduced the Academic Research Programme?

The EPO recognises the importance of high-quality research on patent-related intellectual property (IP) matters to inform policymakers and facilitate sound business decisions in a context where intangible assets, innovation and IP rights have become pivotal in the economy. With this research programme, the EPO seeks in particular to encourage more academic research on the role of patents in the European economy and to promote the dissemination of research results.

Selection criteria

The grants will be awarded to a limited number of well-defined projects addressing a specific question within the seven thematic areas listed below, spanning various disciplinary fields including economics, IP management, IP law and data sciences. Interdisciplinary projects will also be considered.

  1. Patents and the European market for technology
  2. Patent services and new IP businesses
  3. IP strategy and IP management
  4. Use of patents by SMEs and universities in Europe
  5. Patents, artificial intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  6. Patents and climate change mitigation technologies
  7. Advanced use of PATSTAT, patent searching, and analytics (e.g. classification, potential of IP linked open data)

Your proposed topic's relevance in terms of the thematic areas will be evaluated by independent peer-reviewers. The EPO Academic Research Team cannot give feedback or advice on the content of projects during the application process.

The project proposal and any other reports – interim or final – presented to the EPO must be in English.

The call for projects is open to research institutes based in a member state of the European Patent Organisation or – in exceptional cases – to individuals who are nationals of one of the EPO's member states. In the case of cross-organisational co-operation, the proposal must be submitted and the project led by a research institute based in a member state of the European Patent Organisation.

Our offer

The EPO Academic Research Programme provides financial support for rigorous research projects that set out to produce empirical evidence with relevant implications for policymakers and business in Europe. The first call for projects was launched in 2017 and attracted 66 research project proposals, six of which were selected for EPO support.

This second annual call for projects is again offering a total of EUR 300 000 in patent research grants. Selected projects will be granted between EUR 20 000 and EUR 100 000 each.

The EPO may also offer assistance on a case-by-case basis, for example by sharing internal expertise or helping to organise project-specific workshops.

Selection process

The proposals will be peer-reviewed by external experts specialising in the relevant research area. The grants will be awarded by the Programme's Scientific Committee chaired by the EPO Chief Economist by the end of June 2018.

Research proposals will be rated according to the following criteria:

  • originality and innovativeness of the research question
  • potential policy/business implications
  • clarity and quality of the proposed methodology
  • ability of the applicant to successfully complete the project
  • relevance of the proposed budget.

How to apply

Project proposals must be submitted in English using the 2018 application form available for download during the application period.

Applications are now closed for 2018.

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