Each month we introduce you to a member of our Ambassadors team. This month: Marco Gorini, our Ambassador in Italy, who is part of Veneto Innovazione SpA in Venice.
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?
I am Head of Innovation and Technology Services at Veneto Innovazione, the agency for applied research, innovation and technology transfer of the Veneto regional government. This institutional mandate fits in perfectly with the Enterprise Europe Network and allows us to serve as an international hub and provide strategic advice to all regional SMEs and research organisations aiming to enhance their innovation initiatives through collaborations with technological and business partners beyond the national borders.
What does it mean to you to be a European IP Helpdesk Ambassador? And what do you like most about it?
There are many initiatives and services in the EU and its member states which provide IP information, but they are quite different from the European IP Helpdesk Ambassador scheme. While others adopt more of a legal protection perspective providing information on registration procedures, the Ambassadors are advisors of the Enterprise Europe Network with a business perspective, i.e. a stronger focus on the business model and competitiveness strategies. Being part of this group allows me to exchange with the other Ambassadors on a daily basis, comparing the different IP business strategies and approaches working in their countries and to share these precious insights with my local SMEs interested to enter these markets.
How would you describe the internal interaction and cooperation with your Enterprise Europe Network colleagues?
The Enterprise Europe Network is the largest network of regional innovation and internationalisation hubs providing SMEs and researchers with a vast amount of different services. Therefore, the Network has now adopted two new approaches: With the client journey approach, the other Network advisors can directly refer clients with enquiries about IP management in internationalisation and innovation strategies to the Ambassadors. Like this, they can receive more specific support from the European IP Helpdesk. Secondly, the so-called ‘Hub and Spoke’ enables each Network hub to collaborate with other national actors enabling the creation of synergies on IP matters with national IP offices, local chambers of commerce and business associations.
In your opinion, what are current “hot” topics and questions related to Intellectual Property (IP) in your region/country?
Too many overlapping initiatives, projects and services on IP generate misleading messages for businesses and create a dangerous misconception about IP and its role in business. As a result, we now have students, entrepreneurs, engineers, managers, and policymakers who are unsure of the difference between invention and innovation, thus disclosing confidential strategic information of partners or infringing competitors’ products on foreign markets without being aware of it. An ISO standard on IP management is under preparation and I really hope this could partially solve the problem by establishing a common business understanding.
What are major challenges SMEs face with regard to IP? And what kind of support is needed, you think?
IP is still perceived from the legal protection perspective and the related costs only. The big challenge is to turn this belief around and make people think about IP as a business competitive tool that needs strategic management in order to generate value through investing in the proper IP rights.