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Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme expands network of partner universities

9 February 2023

The European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arctic University of Norway (UiT). This makes UiT the 110th member of the network of universities that put forward talented candidates each year for the EPO’s Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme. The number of partner universities has more than doubled in recent years, from over 40 network members in 2019 to over 110 today.

Number of universities by country (full list of partner universities)

Donut chart with the number of universities by country

(click on image to enlarge)

This growth in partnerships was specifically pursued under the EPO’s Strategic Plan 2023 (SP2023). It further increases the programme’s visibility and appeal to young graduates with backgrounds in science and engineering, IT, law, business administration, economics and international relations, as they seek initial employment opportunities at the forefront of technological innovation and scientific progress.

One of Europe’s prime IP talent development initiatives

The Pan-European Seal programme, run jointly by the EPO and EUIPO since 2015, has firmly established itself as a prime IP talent development initiative in Europe. There are currently almost 1 000 programme alumni with experience working at the EPO and/or the EUIPO. Under SP2023 and in line with our commitment to social responsibility, the EPO upgraded its offering to young graduates: the Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme now allows them to extend their term at the Office from one to up to three years, after a selection procedure. Additionally, the programme will be extended to all EPO sites as of September.

The application process for the 2023/24 edition of the Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme has now commenced. Each year, the EPO chooses outstanding applicants, with a view to welcoming new participants from across our 39 member states in September.

Promoting inclusivity and integrating IP education into university curricula

With over 500 young graduates having had the opportunity to work at the EPO to date, the programme also contributes to making the Office a truly diverse and dynamic European organisation. For example, in 2022, 58% of successful candidates were women, making an important contribution to bringing more women into STEM-subject careers, while promoting a European IP and innovation culture where women are equally represented.

Infographic with figures and distribution of young professionals

(click on image to enlarge – Status 31 January 2023)

Furthermore, to help university students better understand the importance of IP, the EPO is offering partner institutions a new modular IP education framework. Developed by the European Patent Academy at the EPO as part of the Pan-European Seal programme, the framework will help universities introduce IP courses and modules so that IP education is effectively integrated into existing science and technology curricula.

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