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?
Since more than 15 years I am working in the Enterprise Europe Network Hessen at Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH in Wiesbaden/Germany, which is the regional development agency of Hessen. My main task as Internationalization Advisor is to support regional SMEs, startups or research institutes to go international and to strengthen their competitiveness – IP is always an important issue on this path.
What does it mean to you to be a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador? And what do you like most about it?
The European IP Helpdesk Ambassadors are a very lively network family, which I joined shortly after its creation. For me it is an excellent and committed possibility to exchange with IP experts from all over Europe and beyond and to learn from each other. Besides the qualitative trainings provided by the European IP Helpdesk to us, the informal exchange among the Ambassadors to find pragmatic solutions for our clients is most the important to me.
How would you describe the internal interaction and cooperation with your Enterprise Europe Network colleagues?
The role of a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador gives me the possibility to act more visibly as an IP expert for other Network colleagues in my own consortium in Germany but also on European level. In order to live up to my role, I try to raise my colleagues’ awareness of IP in all their offered services to our clients, like internationalization, innovation and sustainability support or when applying for European funding.
In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to Intellectual Property (IP) in your region/country?
I think one of the persistent hot topics in Germany as in most of the European countries is that SMEs and startups are often not aware of the importance of IP for their business success and for being competitive enough to master all the current crises. Another important point is to raise the awareness of finance institutes or investors, but also of companies that a good IP management is an exploitable and reliable asset to raise the value of a company.
What are major challenges SMEs face with regard to IP? And what kind of support is needed, you think?
The experience from my daily work as an Internationalization Advisor is that SMEs are often not aware of their own IP: that there are more possibilities than registering a patent and that a good IP management strategy can help to raise their business success when going abroad or when commercializing their ideas. I think smaller companies need more support, e.g., when exhibiting on international trade fairs or starting negotiation with international partners. The European IP Helpdesk has wonderful IP Guides and is offering sound webinars. In my role as Ambassador I try to raise the visibility of these services and to make them available for my clients. There is very good support out there, and our clients need to know.