6 March 2013
More than 1 000 people signed up to attend a conference on global research co-operation this week at the European Parliament, which was co-sponsored by the EPO. It provided the ideal backdrop for a meeting between EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, at the EPO's exhibition area adjacent to the conference rooms.
Mr Battistelli used this opportunity to introduce the Commissioner to Patent Translate, the EPO's tool for free machine translation of patents, and hence a powerful enabler of trans-cultural co-operation in research and science projects. A practical embodiment of research was on display at the EPO's stand in the form of Professor Josef Bille's award-winning method for laser eye surgery: The German scientist was distinguished with the European Inventor Award 2012 in the Lifetime Achievement category for his ground-breaking invention.
One area of successful co-operation highlighted by Mr Battistelli is the recent agreement by EU member states on the introduction of a unitary patent. "For the patent system and its users, this is a historic development," said Mr Battistelli. The unitary patent, to be granted and administered by the EPO on behalf of participating EU member states, is expected to reduce the costs of patenting inventions in Europe for the benefit of companies, and especially research centres and SMEs.
The conference, "EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration, takes place on 4-8 March at the European Parliament in Brussels, and brings together hundreds of science policymakers, scientists and industry representatives from around the world. It is organised by Intelligence in Science (ISC), in association with the Irish Council Presidency and in conjunction with MEP Sean Kelly and other Members of the European Parliament, and with the support of the EPO.