1 October 2020
The EPO and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral co-operation with the aim of promoting innovation in sustainable energy technologies. Under the MoU, the two organisations will publish a series of joint studies over the next three years to inform policymakers and the public about technology trends in areas that are critical for the energy transition and climate change mitigation.
The EPO and IEA published their first joint report, Innovation in batteries and electricity storage, last week, revealing that over the past decade, patenting activity in these technologies grew four times faster than the average of all technologies. It also highlighted that much more technological progress in electricity storage will be needed in future to meet the demands of the energy transition.
"The EPO's patent classification scheme for climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies has become a widely-used standard for monitoring progress in green technologies around the world," said EPO President António Campinos. "Drawing on the IEA's unparalleled expertise in the field of energy enables us to go one step further. I am convinced that our co-operation will help innovators in the sector get ahead of the technology curve. It will provide decision-makers with high-quality data and analysis on innovative solutions to meeting the clean energy needs of industry and society as a whole."
"Tracking energy innovation is crucial to ensure there are no gaps when it comes to developing and deploying the clean energy technologies that we will need to meet our energy and climate goals," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. "The EPO is a world leader in this field, with its rich datasets and vast experience. The IEA is delighted to be deepening our already close cooperation with the EPO through this MoU, which will allow us to get an even better picture of where the private and public sectors are focusing their energy innovation efforts."
Co-operation between the two organisations will benefit from their combined expertise in the domains of energy technology and patent information. The large respective stakeholder communities that both the EPO and IEA have built up during almost fifty years of activity will significantly increase the impact of the joint studies.
This agreement underlines the EPO's role in providing access and public dissemination of patent knowledge for the benefit of innovators and society. It also reflects the Office's strong commitment to sustainability, which has been reinforced under its strategic plan.
With nearly 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative analysis, data, policy recommendations, and real-world solutions to help countries bring about secure and sustainable energy for all. Taking an all-fuels, all-technologies approach, the IEA advocates policies that enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy. The IEA is supporting clean energy transitions all over the world in order to help achieve global sustainability goals.