European Inventor Network
The European Inventor Network aims to awaken a lifelong passion for innovation and creativity among younger generations.
Just as we are responsible for leaving a safe and sustainable world to our children, they are the ones who will shape the planet in decades to come. At this crucial period in the history of humankind, it is vital to pay it forward, to equip young people with the knowledge they will need when they become the planet's custodians. Innovation will be essential to their mission.
Through the European Inventor Network, we aim to empower young people to unleash their creativity and discover the wonders of science and technology. Inspired and equipped with knowledge, the next generation can begin to pave the way to a brighter future for all.
The Network's members are inventors and entrepreneurs of distinction, making them ideal role models to show school children and students that innovation, in all its form, is for everyone.
To reach this objective, the Network will financially support the alumni for implementing activities to inspire young generations and encourage creativity among children in schools, teenagers in secondary education and young adults in tertiary education. Members may propose any activity they feel will spur a long-term interest in technical fields (STEM) and foster an entrepreneurship mindset ("call for ideas" step).
An internal selection committee will select the activities and grant EUR 6 000, EUR 4 000 or EUR 2 000 based on the impact and outreach of the selected activities.
The alumni will implement and report on the activities within a predefined timeframe.
- Why should I propose an activity?
As a successful inventor, you are a role model for the next generation of inventors. Your journeys make you an excellent ambassador to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Can I propose more than one activity?
Yes, there is no limit to the number of activities which you may propose.
- Who should carry out the activity?
If your proposal is selected, you will be responsible for implementing the activity.
However, if you are unable to commit due to time constraints, you may appoint a representative to guide implementation. The appointment of the representative would need approval by the EPO.
- Who is the target audience?
The activity should be addressed to: primary school children (6 to 12 years old), secondary school teenagers (12 to 18 years old) or tertiary education students/young professionals (18 to 30 years old). Priority will be given to activities targeted at primary and secondary schools.
- When should the activity take place?
The deadline for carrying out the activity is the 31 December 2024.
- Is there available material to support me in my activity?
An e-learning module developed by the EPO and targeted at schools will be available from September 2023. The EPO can supply existing videos or presentations if needed (especially the videos of the European Inventor Award).
However, we encourage you to organise your activity based on your own material.
- Where should the activity take place?
The activity should take place in a member state of the European Patent Convention. Within these states, activities may be hosted at any primary or secondary school. If the activity will take place at a university/engineering school/etc, this institution should offer courses for STEM studies. Activities may also be conducted at your place of work; however, you would be responsible for authorisation/approval from your organisation’s management.”. Activities taken place in private companies will not be considered for a grant.
- Can members team up to propose an activity?
Yes, an activity can be proposed and implemented by a group. In such cases, an activity leader should be appointed. This activity leader should complete the activity proposal form.
- How and when will the Network financially support the activity?
The Network will award grants of EUR 6 000, EUR 4 000 or EUR 2 000 depending on the outreach/impact of the activities. The selection committee decides on the grant’s amount based on the relevance, pedagogical content, impact and outreach, target and age of the audience.
The grants, which cover the preparatory and implementation time, are paid upfront of the activity implementation following the announcement by the selection committee.
The travel/subsistence (lump sum) and material costs will be paid on top of the grant upon receipt of proofs once the activity has been implemented.
- Will the information about the activity be publicly available?
Yes, the report on the activity including video/photographs will be posted on the EPO’s website, intranet and on the social media.