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Ambassadors - February 2021: Daniel M. Vaconcelos, Portugal

Each month we introduce you to a member of our Ambassador team. This month: Daniel M. Vasconcelos our new Ambassador in Portugal, who is the Head of the Technology Licensing Office at INESC TEC.

Daniel M. Vasconcelos, European IP Helpdesk Ambassador of the Month

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 am the Head of the Technology Licensing Office at INESC TEC (Porto, PT) and my mission is to boost the societal impact of the R&D results generated at the institution. Together with my team, we scout, protect, manage and valorise many technologies developed at INESC TEC, some through spin-offs others by transferring them to industry partners. Although we are an internal service at INESC TEC, we share our know-how with other TTOs and partners, helping them to deal with Intellectual Property issues.


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

It is an honour and a lot of responsibility since I am the only one in Portugal. I am quite new to this role, but I love the challenge of being part of an extensive network of high-profile IP experts around Europe. To provide effective support to our clients, it’s essential to be updated about the trends and recent changes in the IP and technology transfer world.


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

EEN colleagues are enthusiasts and full of energy. The vast majority are involved in a lot of projects, but always find extra time to help EEN colleagues, companies, and R&D institutions. Trust is key in business and having a strong and wide network throughout Europe is of paramount importance.


In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to Intellectual Property (IP) in your region/country?

Some of the questions are shared with many European countries: the unitary patent and computer-implemented inventions are discussed quite often. Every year, trademarks lead by far the list of registrations at the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property. Of course, this type of IP right is key in some sectors, but in my opinion, it also reflects that Portugal is still learning how to use and benefit from other types of IP rights to secure competitive advantages at the international level and to ensure economic growth.


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

SMEs need to have a strategy and to be ready to compete in a global market where intangible assets are a must-have. Resources at SMEs are limited, but entrepreneurs should protect the critical aspects of their technologies that support their business model in their most important market(s). Sharing success stories about the importance of IP for attracting investors, signing good contracts, exploiting and venturing, and supporting internationalisation is the way how ambassadors can help European SMEs to do better in the future.