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The European IPR Helpdesk

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - European IPR Helpdesk (The European IPR Helpdesk)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The European IPR Helpdesk, funded under the current Horizon 2020 programme, supports cross-border SME and research activities to manage, disseminate and valorise Intellectual Property (IP) assets at EU level. Its goal is to support IP capacity building along the full scale of IP practices: from awareness to strategic use and successful exploitation. This strengthening of IP competencies focuses on EU SMEs, participants and candidates in EU-funded projects, and EU innovation stakeholders for an increased translation of IP into the EU innovation ecosystem.

The following services are provided:

Helpline
Operated by a team of IP experts, the Helpline offers information and support on individual IP questions.
The team also provides preliminary guidance on IP-related issues within contracts such as licences, joint ownership or consortium agreements.

Training
The overall goal of the European IPR Helpdesk’s training activities is to enable its target audiences to develop their own IP management strategies. Based on a “hands-on” training approach, the team provides IP training sessions throughout Europe: on-site, web-based or via online self-study clips.

Communication & Awareness-Raising
To increase IP awareness and promote its services, the team safeguards systematic communication of new services and products. Following a multidimensional strategy, activities include the creation and provision of information material and editorial content, press releases and social media as well as participation in events.

Website & Publications
On the project website, extensive information can be found on different aspects of IP management. A library offers various publications (guides, fact sheets, FAQs, case studies) that provide useful information and practical guidance on IP issues in business or EU-funded collaborative research projects. A weekly newsletter and a quarterly Bulletin ensure that subscribers stay up to date on IP news.
Website

With over 13,000 registered users, the European IPR Helpdesk’s website provides a user-friendly experience. A new web design, implemented in 2017, and a constant update of the content ensure a continued online presence.

Communication & Awareness-Raising

The communications team has developed a set of marketing and audio-visual material such as infographics, leaflets, animated clips etc. In total, four clips highlighting the project’s services, IP in Horizon 2020, IP and business and cooperation opportunities for stakeholders have been published on the website. As for print material, more than 34,350 copies of various informative materials have been distributed to target audiences so far.

In addition, the team has continued to create editorial content in the form of IP Specials, which are part of the “IP Highlights” section of the website. The latter offers additional space to highlight selected articles, interviews or news from the team and the IP world.

The team has also remained very present in the field, with participation in 181 events during 36 months, reaching more than 14,600 people. Moreover, in order to strengthen stakeholder relations in Brussels, the European IPR Helpdesk provides regular “IP & Coffee” training sessions and individual events in its “Brussels Office” at Rue du Trône 98.

Targeted mailing actions addressing central stakeholders and intermediaries and increased social media activities complete the project’s multi-channel communications strategy for the past 36 months.

Stakeholder Coordination

The European IPR Helpdesk cooperates extensively with stakeholders in the field of R&I, business and IP support: joint organisation or participation to events, mutual promotion of events and publications, joint development of publications, etc. For instance, 9 stakeholder meetings were organised since 2015 and 156 training events were performed in cooperation with stakeholders – including 38 with ambassadors.

The team indeed continues to administer its network of “Ambassadors” – Enterprise Europe Network members with specific skills in IP, acting as representatives of the Helpdesk in their country. Ambassador meetings are organised twice a year to ensure training and foster the exchange of good practices.

Training activities

Since 2015, the training team has organised or co-organised 229 IP training sessions with more than 13,400 people trained: 17 large training events on IP in H2020, 20 large events on IP in business, 83 on-site training sessions delivered on request, 21 on-site training sessions requested by ambassadors, 58 regular webinars and 30 individual webinars.

On-site training sessions performed across Europe covered 19 member states and 4 non-member states associated to H2020 (Turkey, Norway, Iceland, Serbia); online participation originated from all member states.
Training sessions addressed different aspects of IP management and levels of competences, with topics ranging from IP in general and IP in business to IP management and maximising impact in EU-funded projects. Reflecting the strong demand for business-oriented IP training, the European IPR Helpdesk and the European Patent Academy have launched the European-wide “IP4Business – IP Training Roadshow for Innovation Support” in September 2017, which consists of 12 training events in 12 different countries.

Content Creation (IP Publishing)

13 fact sheets and 17 case studies were developed since 2015 by the publications team, leading to a total of 62 fact sheets and 36 case studies available online. All publications are provided online for free. Intermediaries and multipliers are encouraged to use and disseminate them, provided that the source is acknowledged.

At the same time, 170 newsletter issues were sent to subscribers, while 12 Bulletin issues were released, some of which adopted a thematic approach and allowed readers to look at IP and R&D issues from varying perspectives.

Help
The European IPR Helpdesk has striven to reach key targets to achieve its desired impact. These targets have been mostly exceeded: while it was expected to have an SME ratio of 15% amongst website registered users, and of 20% amongst helpline users, results for the first 36 months of the project show that 21% of registered website users and 35% of helpline enquirers are SMEs. This shows that the outreach paths used by the team have, so far, successfully addressed this target group.

The awareness-raising and training activities’ targets were also exceeded, with an outreach (total number of participants reached / trained) representing, in only 3 years, respectively 147% and 156% of the goals set up for these activities in the 4-year lifespan of the project.

Finally, the overall, planned outreach to SMEs is also attained: while it was expected to reach 6,622 SMEs in 2015-2017, 7,600 SMEs were reached so far through training, awareness-raising and helpline activities alone, and many more indirectly (website, publications).
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