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Alongside fellow European higher education and research stakeholders, the European University Association has reacted to a recent statement from the Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC) on the Intellectual Property (IP) rules applicable to EIC Pathfinder and Transition projects.

In a joint statement, ten associations*, including EUA, have welcomed the efforts of the EIC Board to listen to concerns first raised in December 2022 and acknowledged the shared objective to bolster breakthrough innovation in Europe. This notably includes close collaboration between researchers and research-performing organisations to maximise the exploitation of research outcomes.

The associations also note that both the European Parliament and the EIC Board share their view that the present IP rules, especially the provisions relative to EIC inventors’ access rights, must be amended as they pose obstacles to successful knowledge valorisation. To this end, the statement calls on the European Commission to implement the following recommendations:

  • The definition of EIC inventors should be clarified as recommended by the EIC Board.
  • Access rights should be granted to the EIC inventors only when the EIC beneficiary does not intend to exploit the results, or has not provided them with sufficient support for the exploitation of the results.
  • EIC inventors should exercise their access rights on the basis of the institutional, regional and national rules and procedures on handling and management of IP.
  • EIC beneficiaries that supported the exploitation of research outcomes should receive fair and proportionate returns.

Furthermore, the associations confirm their commitment to collaborating with the EIC Board and the European Commission to support translating these recommendations into the future EIC work programme and Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement, with full respect for the institutional autonomy of research organisations.

*EUA, the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, CESAER, the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN), the Coimbra Group, Aurora, the European Association of Research & Technology Organisations (EARTO), Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP), EU-LIFE, IDEA League.

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