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​​EPO and EIT unveil wealth of innovation initiatives​

The European Patent Office (EPO) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) share results of their 2023 work plan and outlook for 2024.​ 

The achievements of last year’s annual work plan have helped take collaborative learning experiences and knowledge sharing to the next level, contributing to a more dynamic innovation landscape throughout Europe. With further exciting initiatives foreseen for the coming year, the two organisations are continuing to build on the partnership agreement they signed in 2022. The main goals of the agreement are to foster innovation that tackles major societal challenges and promote a modern intellectual property (IP) culture in Europe. 

Towards business success

Each annual work plan is structured around four distinct areas of co-operation, including education and training. In 2023, highlights included the EPO Academy and EIT Education joining forces to develop seminars, lectures, self-paced courses and learning support materials. Following integration of the EPO’s Modular IP Education Framework (MIPEF) into the master’s and PhD programmes of EIT Manufacturing, further EIT communities have indicated an interest in adopting the framework. Additional training activities in 2024 will include a focus on the Unitary Patent.

Turning to business support activities, there are growing synergies between the respective Europe-wide networks of PATLIB patent information centres and EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). In light of these networks’ complementary business services and tools, a benchmarking exercise is running in five pilot countries with a view to establishing future Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) hubs.

Maximising the impact of expert knowledge

In terms of technology trends and economic studies, deep tech innovation was one of several major areas of co-operation explored last year. Here, highlights included the launch of new tools such as the EPO’s Deep Tech Finder and the EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative’s Tech Radar. 2024 will see the enrichment of the fully searchable content to which these tools provide crucial gateways for all, from investors to students, researchers, scientists and anyone with an interest in sustainable development.

Common interests will also be explored with a view to creating future studies and expanding the Digital Library at the EPO’s Observatory on Patents and Technology. The EIT community, and in particular its KIC experts, will become more involved in the activities of the Observatory too. Finally, the EIT and the EPO will continue to raise awareness of the importance for all sectors of a more dynamic innovation landscape in Europe, including at events such as EIT Community Awareness Days and the annual PATLIB conference. Following on from the 72 EPO-EIT actions completed last year, the strategic promotion of all these activities will maximise their impact, preparing the way for Europe’s next generation of innovators and solutions to common challenges.

Read the overview of our joint activities