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News blog11 October 2023European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency3 min read

EU Industry Days 2023: IP services at the disposal of EU SMEs in the green, digital, and resilient transition


This year, the EU Industry Days 2023 has brought together in Málaga (FYCMA - Trade Fairs and Congress Center) the leaders of the European industry to unlock the full potential of the Single Market, contribute to EU industrial policy, and foster innovation for a truly green, digital, and resilient EU industry.

The topics covered during this edition were:

- the drivers, opportunities, and challenges of the green, digital and resilient transition

- EU open strategic autonomy

- the integration of Ukraine into the single market

Last year the event was carried out online (read our article about the 2022 edition), covering the topics of green and digital transition, resilience, and youth in industry.


What role does intellectual property (IP) have in supporting EU SMEs in the green, digital, and resilient transition?

During the celebration of the EU Industry Days 2023, held in Malaga (Spain), the IP expert of the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk, Robert Pocklington, shared the floor with Ms Katarina Kompari (Intellectual Property legal specialist in the Legal Department, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)), and Claudia Martinez Felix (Deputy Head of Unit, Intangible Economy, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission) who moderated the session. During this session, Mr Pocklington presented the IP Helpdesks (Geographical coverage, the importance of IP, beneficiaries, philosophy, and services), and also made some remarks on the benefits of the Unitary Patent system at the end of the session.

Besides, the IP Helpdesks had the chance to talk with Claudia Martinez Félix, Deputy Head of Unit "Intangible Economy" at DG GROW - European Commission for a short video. In this video, she reflects on the important role of IP in supporting European SMEs and Single Market SMEs in the green, digital & resilient transition:


Tools offered by the EC to strengthen the IP capacities of EU SMEs

The EC already offers EU SMEs a strong support policy with a broad range of services. Some examples of this support are:

- The IP Helpdesks, which offer for more than 25 years free first-line IP support to SMEs both in the EU and to access international markets.

- The SME Fund enables SMEs to contact national experts and advisers to help them value (‘IP scan’) their assets to design a line of strategy for their intangibles, SME fund also offers vouchers reimbursing up to 90% of the corresponding costs, or the reimbursement of registration costs for patents, trade marks, designs, and plant varieties (with possibly more services in 2024).

- The InvestEU service provides a guarantee for startups to get loans from financial institutions for innovative projects.

- The IP Due Diligence Service which are expert services offered to beneficiaries who have received European Innovation Council funding in the Member States of the EU (or associated countries). They include IP due diligence, IP audit, IP pre-diagnostic / IP Scan, management of IP portfolios, including legal advice in IP strategy, representation of clients in IP disputes, legal advice in contracts commercialising IP rights, including agreements for licensing, and transferring intellectual property, and brand co-existence agreements.

The EC continues to develop other support services for SMEs. Thus, in the future other services like training, additional vouchers, or tools (like an IP information platform) and the cybersecurity toolkit will be added.


Contact us

For further information about the IP Helpdesks and/or help with the IP protection and enforcement of your IP rights in the green, digital, and resilient transition, feel free to contact us. Our services are free of charge, we answer all your IP-related questions within 3 working days in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.



Publication date
11 October 2023
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency