New call for proposals under revamped Academic Research Programme

3 August 2021

Academic research programme

Today the EPO is launching its call for proposals for its Academic Research Programme (ARP). With this revamped scheme, now in its fifth edition, the EPO will support collaborative research with scientific partner institutions, which can benefit from a wider scope, bigger budget and longer duration. The ARP foresees closer interaction between researchers and staff from across the EPO. Under the programme, grants of up to EUR 150 000 will be awarded per research area in relation to two streams (each with a grant envelope of €300 000).

Stream A: The new frontiers of innovation (one research area)

  • Research area 1: From university research to innovation ecosystems
    This stream calls for projects focussing on the impact of academic research on industrial innovation and the economy. Universities and public research organisations are key actors of today's innovation ecosystems and a major source of scientific breakthroughs with disruptive potential for the economy.

Stream B: Digital technologies for IP (two research areas)

  • Research area 2: Artificial intelligence for IP training and education
    This stream concerns three interrelated lines of research touching upon methodologies, communication channels and formats that can support IP training and education for the future. They will guide the design of EPO educational programmes while also contributing to IP training and education worldwide.
  • Research area 3: Artificial intelligence in the domain of patents
    Patents present intriguing challenges in relation to natural language processing and computer vision, particularly with regard to the diagrams therein. The EPO is therefore interested (i) in raising awareness of the useful of patents as a data source for AI and machine learning; and (ii) supporting research that can add value to the EPO's own projects and tools related to AI and patent processing.

The call for proposals is open until 15 October 2021. Proposals for research schemes may be submitted by individual research institutes or by groups of institutes. In the case of a collaboration between partner institutes, these institutes can be from anywhere in the world, as long as the research scheme applicant (contracting partner) is based in any of the European Patent Organisation's 38 member states. There are no nationality requirements for either the principal researcher or the co-researchers.

In the last four years the EPO ARP has attracted 212 research project proposals. Of these proposals, 19 have been awarded a grant. The results of the first eleven projects, with video statements or podcast interviews with the researchers are now available.

Further information

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