Intellectual Propriety Rights in Horizon 2020 (SME Instrument) applications

Intellectual Propriety (IP) has been emphasized under the Horizon 2020 instrument as a tool that exploits more effectively project results and the management of knowledge, including the safeguarding and protection of your intangible assets. Relevant IP questions will arise throughout the lifecycle of your project until the potential exploitation and commercialization of the results.

The IP issues to be considered at the project proposals stage are essential in convincing the evaluators of the project’s impact in terms of how the results shall be made accessible to a broader public, the commercialization potential of the project’s results, the most appropriate exploitation channels and the most suitable forms of IP protection. These are only a few general questions that need to be tackled in your proposal, along seven other crucial points you need to bear in mind at this stage of your project:

    • Become familiar with the relevant IP provisions of your specific call;
    • Define your own background, IP that you will bring to the project and bear in mind potential rights of third parties that may be needed for the project;
    • Think about confidentiality issues when drafting, discussing and negotiating your ideas and project contribution with others;
    • Assess the state-of-the-art;
    • Have a clear plan concerning the dissemination and exploitation of project results;
    • Include costs for potential IP protection in your budget planning.

The IP issues to be considered during grants preparation and project implementation are equally important and these are linked to the contractual framework of EU-funded projects, particularly the Grant Agreement and the Consortium Agreement:

    • Re-read the IP-related provisions provided in the Grant Agreement;
    • Specify and agree on central IP arrangements as parts of a comprehensive and elaborated Consortium Agreement;
    • Install efficient knowledge management for your project;
    • Grant access rights to your background and results;
    • Manage the ownership and transfer of ownership of your results;
    • Protect your project results;
    • Start disseminating your results taking into account confidentiality obligations;
    • Constantly review and update the plan for the dissemination and exploitation of results;
    • Exploit your project results and valorize your IP;
    • Disseminate your project results;
    • Be aware of post-project obligations concerning IPR provision.

The data has been extracted from the European IPR helpdesk – the official IP service of the European Commission on intellectual propriety that targets researchers and European SMEs and the detailed guide can be accessed here.

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