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IPR helpdesk

Specific challenge: Small firms and research organisations face a challenge to adequately manage, diffuse and valorise Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) due to limited knowledge and resources. These challenges can be dealt with at regional and national level by general purpose research and business support. However, cross-border commercial or research activities may require a pan-European approach.

The European IPR Helpdesk should provide support in the management, diffusion and/or valorisation of technologies and other intellectual assets and in bringing technologies to the market, including and specifically to participants of Horizon 2020 and COSME projects.

Scope: This project is currently undergoing an evaluation. The future helpdesk should build on top of previous initiatives and reach better the potential target group, both in quantity and quality. In particular, the services offered by this helpdesk should follow closely the recommendations stemming from a document prepared as a follow-up of the external evaluation of the Helpdesk. This document will be published by the end of December 2013[1].

This would require co-ordination with other IPR support funded by the Commission. The activities of the current helpdesk ( may serve as a source of inspiration.

It is expected that the future helpdesk builds on top of previous initiatives and reaches better the target group, both in quantity and quality.The helpdesk should be ready to adjust the quantity of advice, training, materials and promotion to the demand and to better reach the target group. In particular, the development should follow the recommendations of the document related to the evaluation of the helpdesk to be published by end 2013.

To reach the target group the helpdesk should develop relationships with various business, innovation or research support organisations.

The services offered by this helpdesk should follow closely the recommendations stemming from a Commission document prepared as a follow-up of the external evaluation of the Helpdesk. These documents will be published latest in December 2013[2].

All intellectual property rights and other intellectual assets’ protection means should be taken into account with special attention paid to recent and new legislative developments.

All intellectual property rights pertinent to the materials, trainings, website and other actions developed by the helpdesk will be owned by the Commission and will be shared with other EU-funded IPR support measures.

The helpdesk should use non-technical language and should follow the target group’s demand for initial IPR services as established e.g. through analysis of helpline requests, or feedback from trainings and from co-operating business services organisations.

Depending on the demand of the target group the activities may be provided in the most demanded EU languages. English versions are essential.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The duration of this action will be 48 months.

Expected impact:

         Improve knowledge and capacity of at least 2,000 SMEs, per year increasing this target by at least 15% every year to access, diffuse, use and manage IPR more efficiently. Out of this group the majority should participate or intend to participate in Horizon 2020 or have done so in earlier Framework Programmes.

         Establish support services and cooperation structures with intermediaries (like the regional consortia of the Enterprise Europe Network and system of National Contact Points for the different parts of Horizon 2020) and other relevant organisations enabling them to provide initial guidance to SMEs.

         Update and complement the set of self-help 20 materials and guides for the target group on IPR in commercial, technology transfer and/or research cross-border activities.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions [Pending the recommendations of an evaluation of the current IPR helpdesk the action might be implemented by a call for tender]


[1]     This document will be published as soon as finalised on the page below and linked to the call text: