3 August 2021
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
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
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.