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Nurturing next generation IP talent

23 September 2022

Pan-European Seal ceremony

The EPO has enhanced the scope of
its Pan-European Seal programme with the aim of nurturing the next generation
of talented IP professionals across Europe.

The new Pan-European Seal Young Professional Programme recently welcomed its
first cohort at a hybrid inauguration ceremony in Munich. Eighty-eight young
professionals – 58% of whom are females – representing 20 nationalities were
selected from a large pool of applicants to embark on the scheme. In addition
to gaining experience in different EPO directorates, they will complete a
tailored training and development programme with support from an in-house

The programme is a strategic
collaboration between Europe’s leading IP offices, EPO and EUIPO, and builds on
the success of the one-year Pan-European Seal (PES) Professional traineeship
programme. Over 500 PES alumni have gone on to apply their IP experience to
European industry, academia, and governmental institutions.

The recent evolution of the programme now makes it possible for the most
talented and best-performing young professionals to progress to a second and
third year of the programme.

At the inauguration ceremony the EPO also bid farewell to 66 outgoing PES trainees.
EPO Vice President Steve Rowan thanked them for their efforts and urged them to
remember the impact of their work: “No matter what you’re working on, always
keep in mind what our collaborative work achieves – innovations that enable a
safer, smarter, more sustainable world.”

Delia Brasfalean, EPO Director of European Co-operation and programme manager

“We are incredibly proud to launch a programme which gives graduates a first
professional employment opportunity in a dynamic international environment. At
the heart of this initiative is a commitment to promoting IP awareness and IP education
across Europe. Our close relations with a large network of universities is a vital
vehicle to achieving this goal, and we invite new universities interested in
joining the programme to reach out to us directly.”

Among last year’s cohort, 39 will now embark on their second year as EPO Young

Over the
years, the programme has established itself as a respected IP talent
development initiative in Europe and continues to attract an increasing number
of talented university graduates with backgrounds in science and engineering,
business administration, law, international relations, communications,
economics and finance.

The professional mobility offered by the new Young Professional Programme –
both within EPO and beyond – supports a key pillar of its Strategic Plan 2023,
helping to raise awareness of IP’s benefits among the best and brightest young
minds in Europe. 

To date, 32
nationalities have been represented in the programme of which more than 100
universities are members.

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