20 July 2021
Today the EPO is further expanding its advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them make better use of the patent system by launching a new series of innovation case studies about companies spun-out from European universities or public research organisations (PROs). European SMEs, universities, PROs and lone inventors are responsible for over a quarter of all patent applications to the EPO - they are vital engines for innovation, employment and economic growth.
This new series of technology transfer case studies features spin-outs and start-ups from Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey, with innovative technologies for new textiles, wound treatment, additive manufacturing, new optical sensors for wind turbines, and anti-lock braking systems for e-bikes. Three case studies are already published today, with more to follow during the year.
The first of these case studies concerns Oxeon, a manufacturer of innovative woven carbon fibre materials co-founded by the inventor of the new weaving technology. The company, spun-out from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology, has won awards for its rapid growth, and their resilient fabric has been used in a variety of sports equipment applications and most recently to cover the rotor blades of Ingenuity - NASA's first helicopter deployed to Mars.
The second case study describes the creation of Dermis Pharma, a company which was founded by four women inventors from a Turkish university. Despite challenges with their initial attempts to license their technology that helps to heal chronic wounds in an early stage, they did not give up. Thanks to strong IP, they succeeded to secure the necessary funding for cost-intensive clinical trials and product development to eventually get a big player interested who accelerated the commercialisation process.
The third case study is about a novel training device for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a problem that affects hundreds of millions of people world-wide. A research collaboration between University College Dublin and the company Bio-Medical Research (BMR) led to the patenting of an innovative solution followed by the creation of Atlantic Therapeutics, a spin-out company of BMR, with the purpose of raising investment to finance dynamic market expansion based on their strong patent portfolio.
These new case studies will be accompanied by a series of podcasts on our channel "Talk Innovation". The first podcast, published today, introduces the story of Oxeon's route to commercial success, represented by their Vice-president of marketing and sales, Andreas Martsman and the co-author of the case study, Caroline Pamp. They share their perspectives on the journey from the university`s lab to the market, which would not have been possible without patent protection.