EPO and European Institute of Innovation and Technology sign partnership agreement

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a general framework that will guide co-operation activities between the two organisations. Signed by EPO President António Campinos and EIT Director Martin Kern, the agreement draws upon the complementary roles of each organisation in fostering innovation that tackles societal challenges and promoting a modern intellectual property (IP) culture in Europe.

The signatories emphasised the need to support Europe's innovation ecosystems with a view to creating sustainable growth, including by fostering synergies between the EPO's Europe-wide PATLIB network of patent information centres and the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). These KICs work with local organisations across Europe as innovation hubs, forming the larger EIT Community. The scheme is a central pillar of the work of the EIT, which the European Union set up in 2008 to strengthen Europe's ability to innovate.

"Our partnership with the EIT will help us share knowledge even more effectively and support innovators, start-ups, SMEs and businesses across Europe with best-in-class expertise. This will enhance the impact of the European patent system at the same time as improving access to patent information and raising awareness of the power of patent knowledge," said EPO President António Campinos.

"At the EIT, we support innovation in order to address today's major global challenges ranging from health to climate change. We are delighted to work together with the European Patent Office, in order to offer its expertise to our innovators, helping them to protect and utilise the Intellectual Property generated when they turn their ideas into products and services for European citizens. Particularly SMEs and start-ups often lack capacity and knowledge to do so themselves. With this cooperation between EIT and EPO, we expect to see more of our innovations being grounded on business models that can sustain themselves and create a bigger impact", said EIT Director Martin Kern.

The agreement defines the kind of co-operation activities to be developed further in subsequent annual work plans. Four main areas of co-operation have been identified: "Business support activities", "Technology trends and economic studies", "Education and training" and "Awareness raising and promotion".

Under the terms of the agreement, the two organisations will also share knowledge and expertise relevant to the continuous development of their staff. Further joint efforts will be made in disseminating and promoting the latest economic studies.

Further information

EPO PATLIB network

European and international co-operation at the EPO

European Institute of Innovation and Technology

EIT Regional Innovation Scheme