April 2020: Ivan Štefanić, Croatia
Each month, we introduce you to a member of our Ambassador team. This month: Ivan Stefanic, one of our Ambassadors in Croatia, who works with TERA TEHNOPOLIS Ltd. in Osijek.
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?
TERA TEHNOPOLIS Ltd. is a regional Technology Transfer Office and Business Development Institution in Eastern Croatia. The majority of our clients are researchers and innovative entrepreneurs, so we develop our portfolio of services accordingly. Our services include rapid prototyping, Intellectual Property (IP) protection and management, business incubation and counselling as well as technological and entrepreneurial education.
What does it mean to you to be a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador? And what do you like most about it?
Being a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador provides several benefits: state of the art training, possibility to cooperate with peers, and best of all, providing assistance through the Enterprise Europe Network to clients who cannot afford professional IP assistance or do not have adequate counsellors in their vicinity, which is fairly often the case in less developed areas.
How would you describe the internal interaction and cooperation with your Enterprise Europe Network colleagues?
It is difficult to be a top-notch consultant in every aspect of global, high-tech business. Hence, consultants, just like entrepreneurs, have to specialise in certain fields. IP specialists are an excellent asset to every Enterprise Europe Network consortium, but they can play an even bigger role: Through joint activities they can strengthen their consortia and facilitate cross-border cooperation.
In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to Intellectual Property (IP) in your region/country?
Since Croatia became an EU Member State, the ‘hot topics’ have been EU Trademarks and EU Designs. Those instruments are fairly affordable and provide adequate protection meeting the long-term protection needs of many clients.
What are major challenges SMEs face with regard to IP? And what kind of support is needed, you think?
A vast majority of entrepreneurs in Croatia are not aware of the different instruments available for IP protection, so awareness-raising is the most important job. For those who are fairly close to implementing some of these instruments, the details are important. Thus, individual consultations with emphasis on the specifics of their case are the support they need.