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Ambassadors - April 2021: Costas Troulos, Greece

Each month we introduce you to a member of our Ambassador team. This month: Dr Costas Troulos, our new Ambassador in Greece, who is Technology Transfer Consultant with the PRAXI Network.  

Costas Troulos
Dr Costas Troulos, Technology Transfer Consultant, PRAXI Network
Phone: +30 2103607690
Email: troulos@praxinetwork.gr

Could you briefly describe your core expertise and field of activity within the Enterprise Europe Network? What are key services you offer to your clients?

I have worked as a business strategy consultant since 2005 and have a special interest in IP since 2013. I assist SMEs, start-ups, spin-offs, and research teams in realising their IP potential and linking their business strategy with it. Often, our clients do not understand the value of their IP or try to commercialize it in a suboptimal manner. I present them with different options, offer alternatives and advise on how they can develop their IP, practically, into a long-term competitive advantage. The most popular services offered by the PRAXI Network include advice on strategic evaluation of IP and planning and, in specific cases, IP valuation. Additionally, our clients often ask for licensing advice and training. Workshops and seminars are organized to this end at regular intervals.

What does it mean to you to be a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador? And what do you like most about it?

As European IP Helpdesk Ambassador, I am a member of a network of skilled, experienced, and highly motivated professionals that offer IP support services within the framework of the EEN. The scheme allows us to share our experience and learn from others. Our peers are always ready and willing to help with their insights and knowledge. As Ambassadors, we also have access to specialized training seminars and technical material which is a key success factor in our work. We can design and offer added-value services to our clients while growing faster professionally.  

How would you describe the internal interaction and cooperation with your Enterprise Europe Network colleagues?

The cooperation with the EEN colleagues is straight-forward, easy, and effective. EEN Consultants present IP-related services to clients and highlight the fact that IP is key for business growth. IP services become increasingly visible in our value proposition, either as training or specialized one-on-one innovation support. Upon identifying such clients, they are referred to an IP Helpdesk Ambassador for further information. The client is then handled both by the IP Helpdesk Ambassador and the EEN consultant, where the client receives the required assistance and support.

In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to Intellectual Property (IP) in your region/country?
There are several hot topics related to IP in Greece and Europe. This is normal, as IP is a field of growing concern for innovation development across our continent. If I were to pick one current "hot" topic this would be IP valuation. Estimating the value of an IPR, i. e. how much the innovation is worth, is of paramount importance for an enterprise in developing their business strategy, speaking with investors, or negotiating a licensing agreement. IP valuation is strongly debated in academia and industry, due to technical reasons (the outcome of technology exploitation is unpredictable), business issues (financial forecasts are difficult to make), and cultural differences. Nevertheless, I think that employing IP valuation methods, while acknowledging and understanding their limitations, can help the Greek and European innovation ecosystem in the long-run.

What are major challenges SMEs face with regard to IP? And what kind of support is needed, you think?

The European SMEs today face unprecedented pressure for business growth. The most visible challenges of our era, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the digital transformation paradigm, put SMEs under enormous stress for change, both in their operation and business model. In my view, the in-depth assessment of their IP potential can help SMEs plan for a long-term business and IP strategy. Also, IP protection and optimal exploitation can provide an SME with a significant competitive advantage, create new revenue streams and allow expansion into new markets. There are several tools and services available today, such as the IP support measures financed by DG GROW. To make the best out of these instruments, the SMEs could tap into external expertise, in the capacity of a business coach or advisor, that puts the combined output in perspective, and helps them draft an actionable exploitation plan.