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Research and innovation

Code of Practice for the smart use of intellectual property

Join the Commission community of practice to co-create the Code of Practice for the smart use of intellectual property.

About the code of practice

The code of practice for the smart use of intellectual property (ERA policy action 7) is a bottom-up initiative co-created with the widest possible range of research and innovation stakeholders through an online community of practice.

The objective of this code of practice is to provide support to stakeholders through recommendations and practical examples on how to handle challenges related to intellectual assets in the current research and innovation context (e.g. results co-ownership, skills development, valuation, international projects etc.)

Community of practice

The community of practice launched for this purpose carried out an in-depth analysis of existing evidence to identify best practices that can effectively boost intellectual asset management along the knowledge generation chain.

The community of practice helped the European Commission to make the best use of available information, to select examples, to foster the exchange of information and to support the development of evidence-based policy.

The Commission facilitated the process and was helped by a drafting team composed of members of the community of practice who volunteered to assist with gathering comments and necessary data from the practitioners.

The community of practice started its work in January 2022 and delivered its final contribution, which will serve as a basis for a draft code of practice, on 24 June 2022. For this exercise, the community of practice was subdivided into nine subgroups which correspond to the areas addressed by the code of practice:

  • Intellectual assets management
  • IP and new technologies
  • IP and Open Innovation
  • IP and Open Science
  • IP awareness raising
  • IP in international cooperation
  • IP skills and training
  • IP valuation
  • Joint industry-academia IP

The community of practice will remain in place as its members will be kept informed about the development and adoption process of the code of practice, which is expected to be presented by the end of 2022. The community of practice will be invited to play a key role in the dissemination and implementation of the code of practice along with a dedicated awareness raising campaign planned by the Commission.

Participation in the community of practice is not remunerated and no costs are reimbursed.

Members

A call for expression of interest to join the community generated a high level of interest from stakeholders with expertise in innovation, intellectual property law, intellectual assets management, research and development, technology and knowledge transfer and life sciences.

The online community of practice counts 174 members so far, including 42 members participating as interested individuals. The rest of the members represent the organisations they belong to. 160 members are located in the EU (all Member States are represented) with the others located in Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The community of practice gathers a wide range of research and innovation stakeholders with a majority from universities, public research organisations and private companies as well as a number of private research organisations, technology and knowledge transfer offices, multi-stakeholder partnerships and national authorities. Representatives of the European Patent Office (EPO) and of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) are also members of the community.

How to join?

Stakeholders with relevant competence and experience are always welcome to the community of practice by contacting us at RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICEatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICE[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Background

Translating Europe’s scientific leadership into relevant and sustainable products, services, processes and solutions that support the wellbeing of citizens, economic prosperity, the quality of policymaking and strategic autonomy is the aim of the European valorisation policy.

The Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe adopted in November 2021 identifies “value creation” as one of the key principles underpinning European research and innovation, and highlights “knowledge valorisation” among the priority areas for joint action by Member States.

The current and next generation of knowledge creators need to be aware of the importance of the management of intellectual assets (including intellectual property rights). Providing orientation and concrete guidance on intellectual assets management is crucial to promote the effective valorisation of IP.

To help create value from knowledge through different channels, from the making of innovative spinoffs and start-ups, to IP management and engaging citizens, the Commission Communication on A new ERA for Research and Innovation calls to “Update and develop guiding principles for knowledge valorisation and a code of practice for the smart use of intellectual property”.

The new report on ‘The management and commercialisation of intellectual property in European universities’ explores intellectual property  management practices among universities in the European Union. Based on the empirical evidence gathered, the report presents models and processes of IP management and research commercialisation in universities and their interdependencies.

The Commission aims at shedding light on the balance and the interactions between intellectual property management and Open Science, and recently published a report on 'Open Science and Intellectual Property Rights'. This topic is of increasing importance as Open Science and IP are collaborating to improve knowledge valorisation in the EU

Contact

Should you wish to follow the work of the community of practice or have any question on the process, please do not hesitate to contact us at RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICEatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICE[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)