Nurturing next generation IP talent

23 September 2022

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Pan-European Seal ceremony

The EPO has enhanced the scope of its Pan-European Seal programme with the aim of nurturing the next generation of talented IP professionals across Europe.

The new Pan-European Seal Young Professional Programme recently welcomed its first cohort at a hybrid inauguration ceremony in Munich. Eighty-eight young professionals - 58% of whom are females - representing 20 nationalities were selected from a large pool of applicants to embark on the scheme. In addition to gaining experience in different EPO directorates, they will complete a tailored training and development programme with support from an in-house tutor.

The programme is a strategic collaboration between Europe's leading IP offices, EPO and EUIPO, and builds on the success of the one-year Pan-European Seal (PES) Professional traineeship programme. Over 500 PES alumni have gone on to apply their IP experience to European industry, academia, and governmental institutions.

The recent evolution of the programme now makes it possible for the most talented and best-performing young professionals to progress to a second and third year of the programme.

At the inauguration ceremony the EPO also bid farewell to 66 outgoing PES trainees. EPO Vice President Steve Rowan thanked them for their efforts and urged them to remember the impact of their work: "No matter what you're working on, always keep in mind what our collaborative work achieves - innovations that enable a safer, smarter, more sustainable world."

Delia Brasfalean, EPO Director of European Co-operation and programme manager added:

"We are incredibly proud to launch a programme which gives graduates a first professional employment opportunity in a dynamic international environment. At the heart of this initiative is a commitment to promoting IP awareness and IP education across Europe. Our close relations with a large network of universities is a vital vehicle to achieving this goal, and we invite new universities interested in joining the programme to reach out to us directly."

Among last year's cohort, 39 will now embark on their second year as EPO Young Professionals.

Over the years, the programme has established itself as a respected IP talent development initiative in Europe and continues to attract an increasing number of talented university graduates with backgrounds in science and engineering, business administration, law, international relations, communications, economics and finance.

The professional mobility offered by the new Young Professional Programme - both within EPO and beyond - supports a key pillar of its Strategic Plan 2023, helping to raise awareness of IP's benefits among the best and brightest young minds in Europe. 

To date, 32 nationalities have been represented in the programme of which more than 100 universities are members.

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