IPR (1): Intellectual Property management at the proposal stage In Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 aims at converting European resources invested in research into socio-economic benefits. The programme therefore foresees commitments in terms of dissemination and exploitation of project results, while also foreseeing intellectual property right protection. 

Intellectual property should be part of the overall management of knowledge in the project because it helps technology transfer and enhances growth.

It is therefore useful to include considerations on IP for every evaluation criterion:

  • For excellence: the use of patent databases for assessing the state-of-the-art
  • For impact: Describing measures for exploiting results should consider IP.
  • For Quality and efficiency of Implementation: Describing how consortium partners complement each other, including capacities of each partner to deal with IP.

The following aspects can help project applicants at the proposal stage: 

  • Be familiar with documents that include information on IP: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation, Model Grant Agreement, Work Programmes
  • Conclude a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as confidentiality agreement with other partners before entering into negotiations for the submission of the proposal
  • Include confidentiality obligations in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Model agreements are available in the library of the European IPR Helpdesk.
  • Identify background needed for the project.
  • Examine patent databases: a good proposal takes stock of the state-of-the-art in the field. This is done not only by reading scientific literature on the topic, but also by examining patent databases. 
  • Consider third parties’ rights: testing or commercialisation of a product incorporating a patent of a prior third party’s patent may result in an intellectual property infringement.
  • Consider cost reimbursement: Costs related to IPR and the protection of results and royalties on access rights can be eligible for reimbursement as costs of other goods and services.
  • Perform trade mark searches: if you want to commercialise a product under the project's acronym, perform trade mark searches before deciding on your project acronym.
  • Establish an IP strategy: include plans how to exploit results in the technical annex of the proposal and clearly address how results will be managed and protected through IPR. Public research organisations and universities must consider the Code of Practice (annexed to the Commission Recommendation on the management of IP in knowledge transfer activities). Support proposed measures with a detailed description of the work implementation.

For more information

IPR in H2020 at the proposal stage: IPR Helpdesk Factsheet, February 2014

Fact-Sheet-IP-Management-H2020-Proposal-Stage.pdf

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