Innovative spin-off companies from Portugal and Germany show the way


The latest two case studies from the EPO complete our series of seven technology transfer case studies demonstrating how patents support the commercialisation of technology originating from European universities. The series illustrates how research teams are able to create new companies, attract investment and customers, and enjoy European and international market success, supported by their patent strategies.

One of the two case studies published today presents Perceive3D, a spin-off from the University of Coimbra (UC) which developed a disruptive surgical navigation system using augmented reality. UC's innovation ecosystem provided the necessary support and expertise, putting the researchers onto the path of becoming entrepreneurs. Patents were part of their business strategy right from the start, helping the company to target international markets and to secure continuous investment.

The other case study concerns new measurement solutions for wind turbines from fos4X, a spin-off company from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) that was recently acquired by a Danish company. This successful sale was possible as a result of the company's innovative technology and strong intellectual property (IP) position, which stemmed from the conviction that patent protection is vital for innovation.

Both case studies will be accompanied by podcasts featuring key contributors to the companies' success. The first podcast, published today on our channel "Talk Innovation", explains Perceive3D's technology transfer journey, and features its co-founder and CEO João Barreto and technology transfer expert José Ricardo Aguilar, who also co-authored the case study. A second podcast about fos4X will be published on ʺTalk Innovationʺ in March.

The overall series of seven case studies includes examples from a range of different European countries, namely Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey, and is part of the EPO's collection of innovation case studies. Each case study provides advice for researchers, entrepreneurs and business decision-makers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them make better use of the patent system and other IP rights. The case studies show how universities can help start-ups by providing access to IP, how a company can adapt its patent strategy as it grows and how a company can secure funding until it is able to enter the market.

Further information:

Innovation case studies - Full series of the EPO's SME and technology transfer case studies

Technology transfer case studies

Advice and support for small and medium-sized enterprises

Talk Innovation - the EPO's podcast channel