Skip to main content

Value Intellectual Property for SMEs

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VIP4SME (Value Intellectual Property for SMEs)

Reporting period: 2017-12-15 to 2019-12-14

Value Intellectual Property for SMEs – VIP4SME

Intellectual Property (IP) is the basis for innovation and technology leadership. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) - 98% of European businesses - often lack knowledge in efficient and effective use of IP. In the long run this can lead to a loss of competitive advantages and technology leadership for SMEs on a global stage.

The main goal of the VIP4SME project was to sustainably enhance IP support services to SMEs to allow them to better understand the value of intellectual capital they create, own and exploit. Objective was to assist SMEs to define strategies and management practices to better use and commercialise their IP. This challenge has been jointly addressed by 27 National Intellectual Property Offices (NIPOs) from EU member states and countries participating in H2020 together with 20 business support providers (BSPs) having a close network to local SMEs partners and work in close cooperation with the NIPOs. Synergies with other IP stakeholders and especially international organisations (EPO, EUIPO, WIPO) have been utilised.

Training contents, tools and IP support services specifically designed to SME needs had to be adapted or created, managed and made available to all project partners. Via the VIP4SME IP ToolBox various services and activities for SMEs have been launched. Interested IP experts not part of VIP4SME have access to the VIP4SME IP ToolBox for own use.
To manage IP support in all participating countries an implementation plan has been worked out, defining quantitative objectives per country. A project organisation has been set up to support all VIP4SME participants in the implementation of new IP trainings and IP Services:
800 SMEs in Info Days
400 SMEs in Advanced / Thematic IP workshops
400 SMEs in Trainings on the upgraded and new IP tools
200 BSPs in Trainings on the upgraded and new IP tools
1682 SMEs in one to one Pilot Actions / IP Support Services
To spread information on events and services the well-known European portal has been used as VIP4SME project website.

Project coordinator:
Dr. Thomas Fischer
Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart, Germany
WP1 - Knowledge and content Management
- IP Toolbox
o Collection, quality assessment and description of existing IP tools.
o Development of new IP tools with specific SME focus. 2 new strategic approaches for SMEs:
- commercial software using professional visualisation techniques. High quality in results, simple and fast, to better address SMEs needs.
- ‘Light’ tools. Results in good quality fast and with little effort. Lower entrance barrier for SMEs.
o All tools made available under . The IP toolbox has been updated and offers a powerful search and filter functions with focus on SMEs.
o The system has been migrated to a powerful CMS to increase ease of use, allow mobile device access and keep maintenance efforts low.
o Sustainability strategy worked out: content curation (NIPOS) and technical maintenance (Fraunhofer, CCIAA, CVTI SR) after project end.

WP2 - IP support and services to SMEs
- 1.138 SMEs in Infodays target: 800; 142%
- 532 SMEs in Workshops target: 400; 133%
- 549 SMEs in Trainings target: 400; 137%
- 571 intermediaries in Trainings target: 200; 286%
- 1.588 SMEs in 1:1 support actions target: 1.682; 94%

WP3 Communication
o Development of marketing material, brochures, general presentations, press releases, marketing plans, three project videos, 13 newsletters, a project website and a best practice brochure summarising the lessons learned.
o High level contacts to policy makers (Vice president European parliament, Commissioner Günther Öttinger, National Ministers and deputy ministers,…), senior executives from IP authorities (WIPO, EPO, …), other relevant networks (EEN, …).
o Attending several multinational events and contacting networking partners and intermediary organisations to promote VIP4SME.

Number of most relevant Dissemination and Communication activities linked to the project (excerpt)
- 85 Illustrations during conferences
- 180 Illustrations during workshops
- 90 Press /conference releases
- 15 Non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed (popularised) publications
- 50 project presentations at Exhibitions
- 12.000 Flyers
- 120 Trainings
- 330 Promotion via social media
- 1.500 Website contacts
- 8 Communication Campaigns (Radio, TV,...)
- 75 Participation at Conference
- 440 Participation at Workshop
- 140 Participation at other Events
- 12 Video/Film
- 60 Brokerage Event
- 8 Pitch Event
- 20 Trade Fair
- 20 Participation in activities jointly with other EU project(s)

Estimated number of persons reached in dissemination and communication activities in VIP4SME::
- 24.000 Scientific Community, High Education and Research institutions
- 30.000 Industry, SMEs, etc.
- 18.000 civil citizens
- 250.000 general public
- 800 Policy makers
- 1.200 Media
- 100 Investors
- 3.500 Customers
- 80.000 others users

WP4 - Project management and coordination:
- formation and management of a strong team off 111 persons from 50 partner organisations
- development and implementation of reporting and management processes
- continuous monitoring of project progress and partners activities
- financial and contract management
- strong internal communication and collaboration support (wiki, mail lists, newsletter, steering committee meetings, ...)
- international communication and dissemination of project mission and results
- Development of reimbursement rules and contracting associated 3rd party partners
- overall project management and strategy
- 4 steering committee meetings (all partners)
- 15 project management board Meetings
- 6 GA Amendments
- raising 2 internal calls for additional 1:1 actions to reach project targets
- head of project management board and interface to EASME
- outside representative of VIP4SME
- strategic coordination of the overall project activities
VIP4SME is not a research project, so measuring against the state of the art is not relevant.

Compared to earlier initiatives VIP4SME was focussing on individual scope of SMEs regarding IP matters. While earlier projects ended at a more generic level (general IP info-days etc.) VIP4SME got in direct interaction with thousands of SMEs and allowed individual discussions and recommendations. Even though the timeframe given in VIP4SME budget was short - only a few hours per company - the feedback from companies have been very positive! A few typical best practice cases from the project work have been documented in the VIP4SME best practice brochure. It is available at

VIP4SME provided valuable guidance to SMEs in IP issues and allowed a decision on and prioritisation of next steps. All those activities have been based upon tools and trainings developed and maintained in VIP4SME. And all activities have been surrounded by communication and management activities - everything that was required to get the VIP4SME network in productive operation. A Network of 111 persons in 50 organisations is never static. It required continuous monitoring and management and finally led to a powerful fabric of cooperating IP experts all over Europe.
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 17./18.11.2018 Bordeaux - Audience listening
VIP4SME project logo
VIP4SME team @ kickoff Brussels 09.03.2016
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 29.11.2016 Venice - Udo Gennari and Project Coordinator Dr. Thomas Fischer
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 29.11.2016 Venice - Video message Daniel Gassmann EASME
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 17./18.11.2018 Bordeaux - group picture
VIP4SME project logo with title
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 16./17.10.2019 Malaga - group picture
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 16./17.10.2019 Malaga - Audience listening
VIP4SME Steering Commitee 17./18.11.2018 Bordeaux - Intro by Coordinator