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News article20 February 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

Horizon IP Scan – A Successful IP Advisory Service for European SMEs Involved in Collaborative R&I Projects

The Horizon IP Scan has been launched as a pilot service initiated by the EC, EIC and EISMEA.  Operating from November 2020 until November 2023, the service helped European start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in EU-funded collaborative research projects to efficiently develop and implement strategies to valorise intellectual assets generated in collaborative R&I activities. Over 350 SMEs involved in collaborative Horizon 2020/Europe and Eureka projects benefitted from the comprehensive service offered by a larger team of international IP experts.

The service was strongly aligned with the strategic objectives outlined in the EU IP Action Plan, particularly in its efforts to promote the effective use and deployment of intellectual property (IP), specifically by SMEs. Furthermore, its objectives were fully in line with the Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation, which aimed to enhance the socioeconomic impact of research and innovation (R&I) endeavours.

Horizon IP Scan adhered to its mandate of assisting SMEs in shifting away from perceiving intellectual property rights (IPR) merely for securing business assets and instead promote a better understanding of developing comprehensive and impactful intellectual assets management strategies for value creation. Horizon IP Scan referred to key elements of the Code of practice on the management of intellectual assets for knowledge valorisation, such as clarifying IP ownership and defining clear collaboration conditions for exploitation pathways.

As a main outcome, the service raised awareness of IP-related issues and identified areas for improvement with respect to IP strategy development and management. This helped the SME to gain a clearer picture of its intellectual asset portfolio and associated strategies, and hence enter into the collaborative R&I project with more confidence and to understand the importance of discussing (joint) IP strategies as early as possible.

The Horizon IP Scan team published a Study Report aiming to analyse and summarise the main results and lessons learnt from the provision of Horizon IP Scan services. The report aims to provide a brief statistical analysis of Horizon IP Scan applicant profiles, as well as to share insights about challenges, and blocking and enabling factors to run the service in the given format. Moreover, the report highlights motivations of SMEs to apply for the service and provide insights into main IP challenges faced by SMEs when participating in collaborative Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe projects.

The Study Report is available in the EC Publication Office.



Publication date
20 February 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency