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European IP Helpdesk Ambassador Summer Summit 2024 Explores Knowledge Valorisation Practices from Widening and Non-Widening Countries

The European IP Helpdesk joined forces with the University of Split, a member of the Croatian Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) consortium, and organised a two-day training summit for the European IP Helpdesk Ambassadors on June 17 and 18. The event was focused on the different aspects of knowledge valorisation, from industry-academia collaboration, to intellectual assets management in different institutions and ecosystems to the more concrete support and case examples of how the IP Ambassadors provide start-up and scale-up support or advise beneficiaries of the different European Innovation Council funding programmes.

The European IP Helpdesk Ambassador scheme brings together over 40 IP experts from various organisations such as chambers of commerce, innovation agencies, and tech transfer organisations across 27 European countries. As members of the EEN, these IP Ambassadors are vital in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their international activities by offering essential resources, guidance, and networking opportunities.

Updates on project activities, strategic priorities & recent policy developments

The event began with a warm welcome from Claire Fritz and Ivana Vuka of the European IP Helpdesk Ambassador Coordination team, followed by updates on recent project activities, and strategic priorities of the European IP Helpdesk in this new contractual period, such as a stronger focus on Widening countries. Led by the RISE team, these increased outreach efforts aim to create a Community of Practices and engage with stakeholders from those countries to raise awareness and boost the capacity for innovation and IP management in their ecosystems. Additionally, five new Ambassadors were officially welcomed to the team.

The Summit then shifted its focus to the practical aspects of knowledge valorisation highlighting the paradigm shift from classical technology transfer concepts towards managing intellectual assets and creating social value from knowledge. To this end, Ivana Vuka presented the latest policy developments, including the recently published Codes of Practice on citizens' engagement and industry-academia co-creation. The subsequent discussion included examples of knowledge valorisation from both Widening and non-Widening countries, providing a comprehensive overview.

The next session was dedicated to the topic of industry-academia collaboration with the keynote from Smiljka Vikić-Topić, Head of RISE and former ASTP Board member, presenting different aspects of managing industry-academia co-creation for effective knowledge valorisation. While discussing Open Science and Open Innovation principles, she provided practical advice on finding matching industrial partners and managing agreements between industry and academia, also sharing her first-hand experience from working in an EU-13 institution for many years.

"Meeting the EU IP Helpdesk Ambassadors community for the first time was an exciting experience. I greatly appreciated their keen interest in the topic of industry-academia collaboration. While there is still a long journey ahead to fully exploit the opportunities, we are on the right track. New policy documents from the European Commission, such as the Code of Practices for Industry-Academia Collaboration, will undoubtedly aid in this process. Building upon this momentum, fostering deeper partnerships between industry and academia will not only enrich research and innovation but also strengthen Europe's competitive edge" - said Smiljka Vikić-Topić about the session dedicated to the topic of industry-academia collaboration.

Nicolas Gutierrez led the FAQs session of the European IP Helpdesk Helpline, addressing common queries related to academia-industry collaboration, particularly in the context of EU-funded projects. Key topics included the exploitation and ownership of project results, joint ownership management, and the relationship between private researchers and industry within Horizon Europe. The session also provided examples beyond Horizon Europe, offering a broader perspective.

How to put knowledge valorisation into practice

The second day of the Summit began with an interactive group work session focusing on the practical implementation of the Code of Practice on the management of intellectual assets for knowledge valorisation. Participants divided into groups discussed their experiences and practices they are implementing in their respective institutions and ecosystems, in Widening and non-Widening countries. The session stimulated a dynamic exchange of differences and experiences, enriching the collective understanding of knowledge valorisation practices.

Following this, it was time for the IP Ambassadors to present their practical examples. Konstantinos Vavekis, the IP Ambassador from Greece, showcased the implementation of EEN2EIC support actions in the Widening countries. Emilie Marcelet, the IP Ambassador from France, provided examples from non-Widening countries.

Attention then turned to start-up and scale-up support. Igor Bošnjaković from the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office and Head of the local PATLIB node presented the support offered by PATLIBs. Idil Buse Kok Hazer, the IP Ambassador from Turkiye, concluded the session with a compelling case study on ODTU Teknokent venture capital funds for deep-tech startups.

The Summer Summit 2024 successfully fostered a rich exchange of ideas and best practices, paving the way for stronger collaboration and enhanced knowledge valorisation across Europe, with a special emphasis on supporting and integrating the Widening countries into the broader European innovation ecosystem. The next Winter Summit for the Ambassadors will take place in Brussels in early December.

RISE joined the European IP Helpdesk Consortium at the beginning of 2024 to support European SMEs, innovators, and EU-funded R&I projects with enhanced IP advisory services. Our role focuses on leveraging our expertise to meet the specific needs of EU-13 countries, raising awareness, and building competencies in IP and knowledge valorisation.