Why do we need an EU valorisation policy?
The EU aims to maximise the social and economic value of research and innovation in Europe. Sharing knowledge and improving uptake of research and innovation results by society is a key part of the Commission’s proposal to revitalise the European Research Area.
Citizens expect science to be a driving force that will address societal challenges and deliver solutions for ongoing green and digital transitions. The objective is to increase access and use of research results, in particular when publicly funded. Making research results working for society is crucial to overcome the current needs and challenges faced by Europe.
Knowledge valorisation is the process of creating social and economic value from knowledge by linking different areas and sectors and transforming data, know-how and research results into sustainable products, services, solutions and knowledge-based policies that benefit society.
EU knowledge valorisation policy covers both technological and non-technological solutions that can derive benefits to the society as a whole. It calls for the participation of all actors in the research and innovation ecosystem including users, citizens and policy-makers.
This cross-fertilisation of knowledge amongdifferent actors and sectors happens throughacademia-industry collaboration and mobility, the creation of spin-offs and start-ups, intermediaries and knowledge transfer professionals, citizens and local communities engagement, intellectual assets management, standardisation, knowledge dissemination and policy uptake.
What does the policy aim to do?
A lot of knowledge is injected in and generated by research and innovation activities in the EU, in particular in the framework of publicly funded research.
The goal of the EU valorisation policy is to increase the societal value and impact of research and innovation investments.
The policy addresses all research and innovation actors and calls for a paradigm shift and co-creation among the actors in order to maximise the societal value of research and innovation results to benefit society. We have a created a platform for research and innovation actors across Europe to share best practices, listen to lessons learned and work together with like-minded people in making the most of research results.
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Guiding principles for knowledge valorisation
On 9 August 2022 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation (COM(2022)391 final). The aim of the Recommendation is to adopt a common line on policy principles and measures for national, regional and local policy makers to maximize the transformation of research and innovation results into solutions that benefit society. The Council of the EU adopted a Recommendation on the guiding principles for knowledge valorisation on 2 December 2022.
A Code of Practice on intellectual assets management and a Code of Practice on standardisation have been adopted as Commission Recommendations on 1 March 2023 to support the implementation of the guiding principles by providing more detailed guidance on these areas of knowledge valorisation.
Industry-academia joint research and mobility
Industry-academia collaboration is one of the key channels to foster a mutual exchange between knowledge generators and business actors, boost private investments in research, lead to more inventions and patents, facilitate the flow of knowledge and talents into companies, enhance researchers’ skills and understanding of the market needs and increase entrepreneurial culture among researchers.
This improves not only the competitiveness of European industry and the research and innovation system, but supports the development of green, innovative and digital solutions for society.
Although many policy instruments are in place to promote collaborations between academia and industry in Europe – such as grants for mobility, collaborative research and public-private partnerships – stronger interaction is needed.
More than 210 participants from 25 EU countries and 11 other countries joined a community of practice on industry-academia collaboration for knowledge valorisation to contribute to the co-creation of a Code of practice in this area. A Code of practice will provide guidance in the form of principles, recommendations, approaches and tools to facilitate industry-academia collaboration for improved knowledge valorisation.
What the EU is doing
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks (ITN); Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE); Individual fellowships - supporting mobility and joint research programmes
- The report on Testing the feasibility of a new industry-academia knowledge exchange concept focusing on companies’ needs discusses the adaptability of an explorative co-creation method in an industry–academia knowledge exchange context.
- Factsheet: Industry-academia collaboration
Research-driven spin-offs and startups
Spin-offs and academic start-ups are of key importance, as they offer students or researchers a promising route to commercialising the knowledge and inventions they have developed. Structured access to finance is crucial for these early stage companies as well as entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.
What the EU is doing
- European Innovation Council (EIC): identifies breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations from Europe’s strong research base and accelerates their scale-up and market deployment.
- European Research Council – Proof of Concept (ERC-POC): funding to support activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial or socially valuable proposition
- European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) fosters excellent technical as well as entrepreneurial skills in its education programmes and powers innovative ventures through its network of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).
- Factsheet: The bridging role of academic startups
Intermediaries and knowledge transfer
Intermediary organisations – such as knowledge transfer offices, technology transfer offices, business incubators and science parks – help researchers and innovators commercialise their solutions, products and services.
They are the first contact point for researchers and industry looking for new opportunities. They also promote additional instruments and services to boost the innovation potential of research through networking, mentoring activities, coaching and exchange of best practices.
What the EU is doing
- Horizon Results Booster is a service providing tailor-made support to closed or ongoing projects funded by the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation with the aim to maximise their impact and increase value creation.
- Horizon Results Platform is a tool for beneficiaries of European projects to disseminate their results and to connect with potential partners to advance the use and commercialisation.
- Competence Centre on Technology Transfer offers expertise and services in technology transfer at the European Commission in the areas of capacity building, financing and innovation ecosystems.
Citizens, communities and civil society play a key role in the new European Research Area in achieving greater societal impact, by using research results and co-creating innovative solutions to challenges that matter to people.
The European knowledge valorisation policy calls for a more diverse societal engagement and involvement of actors in order to ensure innovation benefiting all of society. The guiding principles for knowledge valorisation specifically call to: “Provide measures for businesses, particularly SMEs, civil society, citizens, end-users and public authorities to be active partners in co-creating value-adding innovation...” and involve “disciplines such as social sciences, the humanities and the arts …”.
To showcase the role of these actors, such as the arts and cultural institutions engage with citizens and other stakeholders to valorise knowledge, a study was published by the European Commission.
More than 125 participants from 21 EU countries and 6 other countries joined a community of practice on citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation to contribute to the co-creation of a Code of practice in this area. A Code of practice will provide guidance in the form of principles, recommendations, approaches and tools to facilitate citizen engagement for improved knowledge valorisation.
To test and further develop novel approaches in engaging citizens to co-create solutions with researchers and other stakeholders, the European Commission is testing a hackathon model, as a tool for knowledge valorisation driven by citizens’ needs.
What the EU is doing
- European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award: annual prize awarded to the European city that is best able to demonstrate its ability to harness innovation to improve the lives of its citizens
- Co-creating with a Community of Practice of stakeholders a code of practice on citizen engagement for knowledge valorisation
- Factsheet: Engaging citizens to accelerate use of research results to benefit all
- Hackathon model driven by citizens needs for knowledge valorisation
Intellectual assets management
Intellectual assetscover any result or products generated by research and innovation activities such aspatents, copyrights, trademarks, publications, data, know-how, prototypes, processes, practices, technologies, inventions, software etc. that can be legally protected through intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights, trademarks etc.) or not.
Efficient intellectual assets management fosters innovation, creativity and knowledge sharing, and improves the chances of knowledge reaching the market and benefiting society.
The valorisation of intellectual assets (including intellectual property - IP) generated by EU-funded research enables fair and rapid access to solutions to meet societal needs and overcome the challenges linked to the green and digital transitions.
The report on The management and commercialisation of intellectual property in European universities explores IP 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.
A Code of practice on the management of intellectual assets for knowledge valorisation was adopted as Commission Recommendation on 1 March 2023. It aims to increase the use of research results and accelerate the uptake of innovative technologies. It provides comprehensive recommendations and addresses specific challenges faced by research and innovation stakeholders such as the efficient management of intellectual assets in joint research activities and the development of research and innovation activities in open science and open innovation contexts.
What the EU is doing
- Horizon Results Booster: Commission service offering free of charge support to FP7, Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries to boost the exploitation potential of their projects results, disseminate them effectively, and go to market.
- European IPR Helpdesk: Commission service providing free first-line intellectual property IP support to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and beneficiaries of EU-funded research projects manage their IP in the context of transnational business or EU research and innovation programmes.
- Factsheet: Code of Practice on intellectual assets management for knowledge valorisation
Video: Code of practice on the management of intellectual assets for knowledge valorisation
- International IPR Helpdesks: Commission service providing free first-line IP assistance for European SMEs operating or intending to access foreign markets (i.e. China, India, Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa) and aim to improve their global competitiveness.
- SME Fund: Commission initiative implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office designed to help EU SMEs protect their IP rights.
- Factsheet: Intellectual Property fosters innovation and societal impact
Research supporting standardisation
There are many benefits for research and innovation ecosystem actors if they engage in standards development in innovative technology areas. Standards help bridge the innovation gap between research and global markets by enabling efficient and effective knowledge and technology transfer - resulting in maximum socio-economic and environmental benefits and valuable impacts from research and innovation activities.
Standardisation is also a powerful networking platform for interacting with fellow researchers and innovators from around the world.
Standards form a common language that allows researchers, people and industry to communicate, produce and commercialise products and services. This is especially important in the European single market.
Standards create an opportunity tool to get the most out of research results.
This is because they
- help researchers to bring their innovation to the market by making their results transparent and ensuring high quality
- build consumer trust in innovative technology because they guarantee safety and quality
- codify the technologies requirements and inform both manufacturers and consumers on what to expect
- allow technologies and materials to be interoperable: because a standard provides details on the use and content of a technology or a material, it is much easier to know when and how it can be used in combination with other technologies
A Code of Practice on standardisation was adopted as Commission Recommendation on 1 March 2023 to foster standardisation activities in research and innovation projects and proposes a set of recommendations on how to best identify opportunities and techniques to increase the uptake of research and innovation results through standardisation. The code of practice is based on a scoping study, integrating the underlying evidence on how beneficiaries of public research and innovation funds can best valorise projects results through standardisation.
What the EU is doing
- The Standardisation Strategy includes research and innovation as a key element reflecting on the untapped potential in EU funded pre-normative research in supporting future trends in standardisation. The role of Horizon Europe is underlined from the point of view of standardisation, as it entails a strong anticipation of standardisation needs and strong linkages between strategic priorities and pre-normative research
- The Commission runs a Standardisation Booster to support researchers under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe to test the relevance of their results for standardisation. The booster is open for on-going and closed Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects.
- Factsheet: From research to standards
Knowledge for informing policy
Valorising knowledge for policy uptake concerns the use of research results, knowledge (in the broad sense, including interdisciplinary research, the social sciences and humanities, non-technological innovation, design, culture and the arts) and innovative new methods and processes that can inform and help develop and implement better policies.
The European Commission published the staff working document Supporting and connecting policymaking in the Member States with scientific research, as a compass for developing evidence-informed policymaking. It highlights the opportunities and challenges in Europe and the Member States, and the need to ensure that “decision-makers have access to the best available science when they need it, in a format they can use, and which is trusted by citizens”, and calls for further efforts to make connections and reinforce trust between scientists, policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public.
Factsheet: Sharing knowledge and informing policy
What the EU is doing
- The EU policy Lab EU Science Hub homepage (europa.eu) provides independent, evidence-based science and knowledge, supporting EU policies to positively impact society.
- The Community of Practice of the Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy aims to build capacity on citizen engagement in policy making by providing services, guidance and tools.
- The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (europa.eu) and the Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) consortium, support the Commission with high quality and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities.
- The expert group on the economic and societal impact of research and innovation ESIR (europa.eu) provides evidence-based policy advice to the Commission on how to develop a forward-looking and transformative research and innovation policy.
- The Knowledge4Policy (K4P)platform for evidence-based policymaking aims to bridge the science-policy gap by bringing together evidence for policy from scientists across Europe, to policymakers across Europe.
- News article
Commission adopts Recommendations on codes of practice for the management of intellectual asset and standardisation
Research and innovation news alert: the Commission adopted a Recommendation on a Code of practice on the management of intellectual asset for knowledge valorisation and a Recommendation on a Code of practice on Standardisation.
- News article
Registrations is now open for the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week taking place from 29 March to 1 April 2022
- News article
Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research: extended until 2023 to keep mobilising relevant research results in the fight against the pandemic
The Commission has extended the Manifesto until 1 January 2023. This voluntary initiative remains highly relevant in the fight against Covid-19
- Conferences and summits
- Thursday 26 October 2023, 09:30 - 16:15 (CEST)
- Brussels, Belgium