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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
News article29 February 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

Horizon IP Scan: a successful IP advisory service for European SMEs in collaborative R&I projects

The Horizon IP Scan has been launched as a pilot service initiated by the European Commission and European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). From November 2020 until November 2023, the service helped European start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to efficiently develop and implement strategies to valorise intellectual assets generated in collaborative R&I activities.

Over 350 SMEs involved in collaborative Horizon 2020/Europe and Eureka projects benefitted from the comprehensive service offered by a larger team of international IP experts.

The service was strongly aligned with the strategic objectives of the EU IP Action Plan, to promote the effective use and deployment of intellectual property (IP) by SMEs and of the Guiding Principles for Knowledge Valorisation, which aimed to enhance the socioeconomic impact of research and innovation (R&I) endeavours.

Horizon IP Scan promoted a better understanding of developing comprehensive and impactful intellectual assets management strategies for value creation. It referred to key elements of the Code of practice on the management of intellectual assets for knowledge valorisation, such as clarifying IP ownership and defining clear collaboration conditions for exploitation pathways.


As a main outcome, the service raised awareness of IP-related issues and identified areas for improvement with respect to IP strategy development and management. This helped SMEs to gain a clearer picture of their intellectual asset portfolio and associated strategies, and enter into the collaborative R&I project with more confidence and  understanding of (joint) IP strategies as early as possible.

The Horizon IP Scan team published a Study Report summarising the main results and lessons learnt from the Horizon IP Scan project. The report provides a brief statistical analysis of the applicant profiles, as well as insights about challenges and blocking and enabling factors. Moreover, the report highlights motivations of SMEs to apply for the service and provides insights into main IP challenges faced by SMEs when participating in collaborative Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe projects.

Related links

Study Report: Helping SMEs manage and valorise intellectual property in R&I collaborations


Publication date
29 February 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency