26 May 2023
António Campinos, President of the European Patent Office
(EPO), and Christophe Haunold, President of the Association of European Science
and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP) signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU). The purpose of the agreement is to provide a general
framework that will guide collaboration activities between the two organisations.
The agreement reflects the shared interest of the EPO and
ASTP in the essential role played by knowledge and technology transfer, as well
as the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP), in bolstering
innovation across Europe and globally.
As a Pan-European association with 1 300 members from 650
organisations and over 45 countries, ASTP serves as a gateway to the
international knowledge transfer community. Its mission is to increase the
economic and social impact of science and technology research through the
promotion and professionalisation of knowledge transfer practices. The
association is committed to knowledge transfer among universities and industry,
a key area in which the EPO’s PATLIB network of patent information centres offer
guidance. This is also an area in which the EPO has published several recent case
studies and a special report.
Under the terms of the agreement between ASTP and the EPO,
the two organisations will exchange experience and jointly promote outreach
initiatives relating to technology transfer. Common education and training
activities will be organised to enhance the skills of both technology transfer
professionals and staff members in the EPO’s PATLB network. The MoU, which
takes effect for an initial three-year period, will also provide a platform for
the promotion and valorisation of intellectual property (IP). Finally, the
agreement builds on established synergies, as ASTP is also well connected
within the European Technology Transfer Offices (ETTO) Circle, which the EPO
joined last summer as an observer organisation.
On 25 May 2023,
to kick-start the collaboration, a delegation from the EPO presented the PATLIB
network at the ASTP annual conference, highlighting the areas of collaboration
with the organisation. The EPO presenters also reminded the international
audience of knowledge transfer professionals that the Unitary Patent system
will become a reality as of 1 June, creating new options for patent protection
in up to 25 EU member states.