26 May 2023
António Campinos, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), and Christophe Haunold, President of the Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The purpose of the agreement is to provide a general framework that will guide collaboration activities between the two organisations.
The agreement reflects the shared interest of the EPO and ASTP in the essential role played by knowledge and technology transfer, as well as the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP), in bolstering innovation across Europe and globally.
As a Pan-European association with 1 300 members from 650 organisations and over 45 countries, ASTP serves as a gateway to the international knowledge transfer community. Its mission is to increase the economic and social impact of science and technology research through the promotion and professionalisation of knowledge transfer practices. The association is committed to knowledge transfer among universities and industry, a key area in which the EPO's PATLIB network of patent information centres offer guidance. This is also an area in which the EPO has published several recent case studies and a special report.
Under the terms of the agreement between ASTP and the EPO, the two organisations will exchange experience and jointly promote outreach initiatives relating to technology transfer. Common education and training activities will be organised to enhance the skills of both technology transfer professionals and staff members in the EPO's PATLB network. The MoU, which takes effect for an initial three-year period, will also provide a platform for the promotion and valorisation of intellectual property (IP). Finally, the agreement builds on established synergies, as ASTP is also well connected within the European Technology Transfer Offices (ETTO) Circle, which the EPO joined last summer as an observer organisation.
On 25 May 2023, to kick-start the collaboration, a delegation from the EPO presented the PATLIB network at the ASTP annual conference, highlighting the areas of collaboration with the organisation. The EPO presenters also reminded the international audience of knowledge transfer professionals that the Unitary Patent system will become a reality as of 1 June, creating new options for patent protection in up to 25 EU member states.