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The European IPR Helpdesk

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - European IPR Helpdesk (The European IPR Helpdesk)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

The European IPR Helpdesk supported cross-border SME and research activities to manage, disseminate and valorise Intellectual Property (IP) assets at EU level. Its goal was to support IP capacity building, from awareness to strategic use and successful exploitation. This strengthening of IP competencies focused 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 were provided:

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

The overall goal of the training activities was to enable target audiences to develop their own IP management strategies. Based on a “hands-on” training approach, the team provided 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 safeguarded systematic communication of new services and products. Activities included 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 could be found on different aspects of IP management. A library offered various publications (guides, fact sheets, FAQs) that provided useful information and practical guidance on IP issues in business or EU-funded collaborative research projects. A weekly newsletter and a quarterly Bulletin ensured that subscribers stayed up to date on IP news.

With over 15,500 registered users, the European IPR Helpdesk’s website provided a user-friendly experience. A new web design, implemented in 2017, and a constant update of the content ensured a continued online presence.

Communication & Awareness-Raising

The communications team 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 were published on the website. As for print material, more than 40,000 copies of various informative materials were distributed to target audiences.

In addition, the team created editorial content in the form of 9 IP Specials, which were part of the “IP Highlights” section of the website.

The team also remained very present in the field, with participation in 182 events in 4 years, reaching more than 27,000 people. Moreover, in order to strengthen stakeholder relations in Brussels, the European IPR Helpdesk provided regular “IP & Coffee” training sessions and individual events in its Brussels office.

Targeted mailing actions addressing central stakeholders and intermediaries and increased social media activities completed the project’s communications strategy.

Stakeholder Coordination

The European IPR Helpdesk cooperated 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, cooperation plans with SME stakeholders, etc. For instance, 14 ambassador meetings were organised since 2015, and 230 training events were performed in cooperation with stakeholders and with or by Ambassadors.

The team indeed continued to administer its network of “Ambassadors” – Enterprise Europe Network members with specific skills in IP, representing the Helpdesk in their country. Ambassador meetings were organised twice a year in cooperation with the EUIPO and the EPO to ensure training and foster the exchange of good practices.

Training activities

In four years, the training team organised or co-organised 288 IP training sessions with more than 17,300 people trained: 24 large training events on IP in H2020, 29 large events on IP in business, 89 on-site training sessions delivered on request, 27 on-site training sessions requested by ambassadors, 78 regular webinars and 41 individual webinars.

On-site training sessions performed across Europe covered 26 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 launched the European-wide “IP4Business – IP Training Roadshow for Innovation Support” in September 2017.

Content Creation (IP Publishing)

17 fact sheets, 24 case studies, 7 IPR Charts and 6 IP Guides were developed since 2015 by the publications team, leading to a total of 66 fact sheets and 45 case studies, 7 IPR Charts and 6 IP Guides available online. 33 of these materials were translated into 5 EU languages (DE, ES, FR, IT, PL) and additional ones were translated in BG, CZ, DK and SK. All publications were provided online for free and intermediaries and multipliers were encouraged to use and disseminate them.

At the same time, 216 newsletter issues were sent to subscribers, while 16 Bulletin issues were released, the majority of which adopted a thematic approach and allowed readers to look at IP and R&D issues from varying perspectives.

In addition, 5 IP SME Corners sections were designed and published on the website, focusing on the most relevant IP issues faced by EU SMEs.


The Helpline team offered customised, comprehensible and free-of-charge support to 3,550 queries received since 2015. The service was popular with SMEs, which accounted for 34% of Helpline users; users originated most frequently from Spain, the UK, Italy, Belgium, Germany and France.

The majority of IP queries received by the Helpline were raised in connection to IP management in EU-funded projects, while others were linked to general IP issues arising in business.
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 four years of the project show that 21% of registered website users and 34% of helpline enquirers were SMEs. This shows that the outreach paths used by the team 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 respectively 276% and 202% of the goals set up for these activities in the 4-year lifespan of the project.

Finally, the overall, planned outreach to SMEs was also attained: while it was expected to reach 9,460 SMEs in 2015-2018, 12,300 SMEs were reached through training, awareness-raising and helpline activities alone, and many more indirectly (through website, publications and stakeholder activities).