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Research and innovation

Learn best practices and experiences from the Community of practice on the smart use of intellectual property

On 28 January 2022, the Commission launched a stakeholder community of practice to co-create a code of practice for the smart use of Intellectual Property (IP), as part of the European Research Area Policy Agenda (Action 7) “Upgrade EU guidance for a better knowledge valorisation”.

The community counts 178 members so far, representing the whole R&I ecosystem. Members who expressed their interest to contribute to this bottom-up initiative have professional experience in intellectual assets management. For this exercise, the community of practice was divided into nine subgroups articulated around the areas covered by the code of practice. Over the last six months, members have been encouraged to interact and exchange their experiences and examples on the smart use of intellectual assets, going further than traditional IP rights. After hard work, on 24 June, the community of practice delivered its final contribution, which constitutes the basis for a draft code of practice which will be elaborated further and published by the Commission by the end of 2022.

This novel co-creation experience was very positively valued both by the Commission and by members of the community of practice – which is still open to newcomers – who appreciate the opportunity to connect and exchange with other professionals about intellectual assets management in the R&I context. A drafting team, composed of volunteers from the community, helped the Commission to steer the discussions and to gather contributions from their subgroups. Here are some of their experiences:

Marina Valls Soler, Legal Officer, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (participating as interested individual)  

Being a part of the drafting team for the creation of a code of practice for the smart use of Intellectual Property has been a really rewarding experience. The flexibility of the organisers regarding deadlines was very helpful, particularly as most volunteers of the drafting team work full time. I was lucky to be paired up with a drafting team mate, Cassia Mota, who was wonderfully cooperative. The IP awareness raising subgroup was very active from the start and we received a lot of suggestions and input from our group members, who were quick to point out missing elements within certain topics and would even identify points of synergy between ours and other subgroups, making it an enriching experience all together.

Cassia Mota de la Houssaye, Chargée de valorisation de la recherché, Université de Saint Quentin en Yvelines

Volunteering as a penholder for the drafting team was definitely a very rich experience for me. I have teamed up with a brilliant colleague, Marina Valls, to elaborate and summarize the contribution of the subgroup ‘IP awareness raising’. Upsides: The whole participatory process was very interesting itself. It allowed me to be in touch with peers from all over Europe and learn from their experiences on different topics of the knowledge valorisation chain. Downsides:  I have tried to apply some design tools from my background to facilitate the process of gathering contributions, but they were difficult to implement in this context. Despite these minor remarks, I'd sum up by saying it was a great experience, that I recommend to all colleagues seeking to collaborate on a European project of this nature.

Dr. James Walsh, Senior Executive, Enterprise Ireland

Being a member of the Community of Practise for the smart use of IP was a most rewarding experience. I was most fortunate to be joint penholder on the Intellectual Assets Management (IAM) subgroup with Dr. Christophe Haunold, who is both a very passionate and committed knowledge valorisation professional. Our interactions over a six-month period with our very committed community of practise members, very ably supported and encouraged by the EC Directorate-General R&I Code of Practice team, ultimately came to fruition! Through my involvement, I learned of the significant challenges many of my international colleagues face in IAM and with increasing knowledge valorisation for benefit of society. Hopefully this set of recommendations will help address many of these challenges.

The objective of the Code of Practice for the smart use of IP is to provide concrete advice to R&I stakeholders via recommendations and practical examples on how to handle challenges related to intellectual assets in the current R&I context. It shall encourage R&I actors, especially researchers, to improve their knowledge valorisation and innovative SMEs to boost market uptake of solutions for industrial application.

The implementation of the Code of Practice will be underpinned by ‘learning from experience examples’ as included in the Repository of Best Practices of the Knowledge Valorisation Platform. The call to submit best practices is permanently open. A number of members of the community of practice or their organisations have submitted exemplary examples on smart intellectual assets management.

Watch, for example:

Inputs from the community of practice cover a wide range of topics and related issues.  Lilian Volcano, University of Oxford, International Gender Studies Centre, pointed to her article on 'A gender perspective on technology transfer and wealth creation' (see p. 322-329) that was produced for the Equals Global Partnership.

Stay tuned as more best practices will be published in the future on the Knowledge Valorisation Platform and take the opportunity to share your best practice as well by answering the permanent call to share examples.

More information

Interested stakeholders can still express their interest to join the community of practice by contacting RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICEatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (RTD-IP-COMMUNITY-OF-PRACTICE[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).