3 February 2022, Brussels
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN) signed a collaborative agreement to boost innovation and support the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As part of the EUIPO’s Strategic Plan 2025, the SME Programme, under the Ideas Powered for Business brand, aims to support and empower SMEs in their business journey.
‘'With the EBN at our side, we hope to provide even greater support to entrepreneurs and SMEs by introducing them to the importance of intellectual property as an essential component of becoming more competitive in today's challenging environment,'' said Inge Buffolo, Customer Department Director, EUIPO.
Laura Lecci, CEO at EBN elaborates, ''IP plays a key role in innovation and technology diffusion, which makes IP part of the daily operations of our members. Together with EUIPO, we seek to deeper embed IP skills among business intermediaries and innovation brokers which we believe will contribute to technology development and dissemination Crucially, it supports the scaling of European innovation and startup entrepreneurs.’'
The EUIPO and the EBN are committed to fostering a change in SMEs’ attitudes towards intellectual property (IP). Aside from financing, SMEs need support in the form of direct coaching and mentoring services to understand how to protect their innovation through IP (i.e. patents, designs, trade secrets, etc.).
A key objective of the collaboration will be to offer support to SMEs by providing tools and know-how through training models, joint webinars and events.
By collaborating with the EBN, the EUIPO is expanding its collaborative network in order to reach out to SMEs and upskill them by promoting a better understanding of the importance and benefits of IP.
The EUIPO is the European agency responsible for managing the EU trademark and the registered Community design, which are valid in all EU Member States.
EBN connects a global network of executives, industry leaders, best-in-class innovators of all kinds, incubators and other innovation brokers, and business support structures such as accelerators, clusters, investment funds, etc.
Currently, the EBN brings together 130 certified EU business and innovation centres (EU|BIC) and 60 associate and satellite members with the shared vision of ensuring that every entrepreneur can realise their new, innovative business idea, from the early stages to international expansion – driving wellbeing and sustainable economic development in European regions.
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