November 2020: Alexandru Marin, Romania
Each month, we introduce you to a member of our Ambassadors team. This month: Alexandru Marin, our Ambassador in Romania, who is part of the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest.
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?
In the frame of the Enterprise Europe Network, I offer consultancy and assistance services regarding the European economic environment, helping the enterprises, mainly SMEs, in developing their business at European and international level, while increasing their own competitiveness by accessing European funding and programmes. Also, I am offering services for innovation audits, being an authorised consultant within the IMPROVE Academy specialised instrument.
What does it mean to you to be a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador? And what do you like most about it?
I started this activity seven years ago and it meant an exceptional occasion to get very close to the value of intangible assets for innovative SMEs. I fully support our strategic “mission” to help them understand the importance of investing in IP as a means to achieve a competitive advantage in the globalised market. The best of all is my “warm” interaction with my fellow Ambassadors and my tight friendship with this wonderful ladies and gents.
How would you describe the internal interaction and cooperation with your Enterprise Europe Network colleagues?
Due to this Ambassador role, my duty in the PROSME consortium within the Enterprise Europe Network, which the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest is a member of, is mainly to support innovation management activities as well as knowledge and technology transfer. We do this for our SME clients, especially start-ups and spinoff/ spin-out/spin-in microenterprises, as well as doctoral and post-doctoral students. Here, my EEN colleagues and I are acting under the principle “one-stop-shop”.
In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to IP in your region/country?
Following the restrictions caused by the pandemic and due to recent “wide and deep” digitalisation orientations of our society, the “hot” topics related to IP in Europe, the Danube region and also in Romania, are how to integrate software in patent applications and as “support” for AI applications. Moreover, it will be important how to increase “interaction” between standards and patents, and raise the quality of the patent applications in order to speed up the process for these important “market instruments” to enter into force.
What are major challenges SMEs face with regard to IP? And what kind of support is needed, you think?
Unfortunately, too many SMEs still understand IPR expenditures as costs instead of investments. When benefiting from public funding or working with large companies, SMEs should be encouraged to include IP assets in their business models. The needed support to be offered is a “bunch” of skilled consultants, capable to offer clear answers to SMEs’ practical needs. Otherwise, any marvellous legal/procedural framework is not fully applicable for SMEs.