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VIP4SME Report Summary

Project ID: 641012
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VIP4SME (Value Intellectual Property for SMEs)

Reporting period: 2015-12-15 to 2017-12-14

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Value Intellectual Property for SMEs – VIP4SME

Intellectual Property (IP) is the essential basis for innovation and technology leadership. But often Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) do not know how to deal in a efficient and effective way with their IP, especially when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) or general IP management issues and strategic decisions. Often SMEs don’t have the time and resources to learn about all the relevant IP issues for their daily work. In the long run this lack of knowledge and information can lead to a loss of competitive advantages on a global stage as well as to the loss of technology leadership for SMEs. As they represent more than 98% of European businesses, SMEs need to be helped to access the information and training opportunities about European and national patent systems as well as IP management issues in order to increase their ability to protect and market their IP. This will sustainable strengthen Europe’s competitive position.

Therefore the main goal of the VIP4SME project is to sustainably enhance IP support services to SMEs in order to allow them to better understand the value of the intellectual capital they create, own and exploit. Objective is to assist SMEs to define strategies and management practices allowing them to better use and commercialise their intellectual capital. This challenge will be jointly addressed by 29 National Intellectual Property Offices (NIPOs) from EU member states and countries participating in Horizon2020 together with 20 business support providers (BSPs) having a close network to local SMEs partners and work in close cooperation with the NIPOs involved. Synergies with other IP stakeholders and especially international organisations (EPO, EUIPO, WIPO) will be created.

Training contents, tools and IP support services specifically designed and corresponding to identified needs of SMEs will be adapted or newly created, managed and made available to all project partners via the VIP4SME Wiki in order to serve the improvement of IP support in all participating countries. By the use of the VIP4SME IP ToolBox various support services and activities for SMEs will be launched in all participating European countries and are publicly available via to the public. Interests IP experts not actively participating in VIP4SME can get access to the tools in the VIP4SME IP ToolBox and used them for their own purposes to further improve impact of the project.
In order to serve the improvement of IP support in all participating countries an implementation plan has been worked out, defining quantitative objectives for each country. A project organisation has been established to support all VIP4SME participants in the practical implementation of new IP trainings and IP services. Those measures aim to ensure that a huge number of SMEs will be reached by high value IP support activities:
1.200 SMEs in Info Days
600 SMEs in Advanced / Thematic IP workshops
600 SMEs in Trainings on the upgraded and new IP tools
300 Intermediaries in Trainings on the upgraded and new IP tools
1660 SMEs in one to one Pilot Actions / IP Support Services
To spread information on events and services again the well-known European portal is used, developed as a European network of NIPOs now serving as VIP4SME project website.

Project coordinator
Dr. Thomas Fischer
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

WP1 - Knowledge and content management - has two crucial contributions: tools and trainings.
Maintainence of IP tools is an ongoing task based on learnings from WP2. To further extent the toolbox in new strategic directions two different approaches have been taken:
- Use of professional software for better and easier search access (semantic search) and professional visualisation.
- Lightweight version of well known IP prediagnosis methodology
Quick and good (not perfect) results are the basis to decide on next steps. Both approaches have been implemented and are part of trainings to enable partners to broaden their scope and offer new and better services to SMEs.

WP2 - IP support and services to SMEs - shows impressive performance figures until December 2017:
- 1073 SMEs in 98 Infodays and workshops
- 244 SMEs in 17 Trainings
- 386 SMEs in individual 1-1 support actions

WP3 Communication results at a glance:
- Communication of VIP4SME during at least 55 conferences, 100 workshops, 25 exhibitions, three transnational events
- 25 specific participation to Conferences and 230 during parallel workshops, during 20 events connected with HORIZON2020
- One meeting at EU high level to promote VIP4SME
- presenting VIP4SME during six brokerage events; 20 fairs, etc.
- Creating and dissemination of two videos; VIP4SME mentioned in other six videos
- more than 60 press releases by beneficiaries and third-parties
- organization of one communication campaign
- 9.000 copies of the flyers (No.1 and No.2) distributed
- Promotion through social media (140 news circulated)
- Promotion of VIP4SME and its contents through 39 training seminars organized at national and regional level

Concerning the target users, with the communication activities carried out, the following indicators can be reported:
- 18.200 contacts with Scientific Community, High Education and Research institutions
- 14.800 contacts with Industry, SMEs, etc.
- 15.500 contacts with the civil citizens
- 200.000 (estimated) general public reached
- 430 Policy makers reached
- 390 Media actors involved
- 65.000 others users involved

Main result of 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 collaboraton support (wiki, mail lists, newsletter, steering comittee meetings, ...)
- international communication and dissemiation of project mission and results
- Development of reimbursement rules and contracting associated 3rd party partners
- overall project management and strategy
- head of project managment board and interface to EASME

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

VIP4SME is not a research project, so measuring against the state of the art is not relevant.

Compared to earlier initiatives VIP4SME is focussing on individual scope of SMEs regarding IP matters. While earlier project ended at a generic level (IP info-days etc.) VIP4SME gets in direct touch with SMEs and allows individual discussions and recommendations. Even though the time-frame given in VIP4SME budget is short - only a few hours per company - the feedbacks from companies are promising! VP4SME gives valuable guidance to SMEs in IP issues and allows a decision on and prioritisation of next steps. All those activities are based upon tools and trainings developed and maintained in VIP4SME. And all activities are surrounded by communication and management activities - everything that is required to get the VIP4SME network in productive operation.

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