Call for the European Commission to apply standard Intellectual Property Provisions in European Innovation Council (EIC) projects

EU-LIFE joins a group of research-performing organisations and knowledge transfer professionals in a statement to urge the European Commission to apply the standard Intellectual Property (IP) provisions of Horizon Europe to Transition and Pathfinder projects of the European Innovation Council (EIC). The current EIC IP provisions are counterproductive and hinder knowledge valorisation, but they are also unworkable.

The statement calls special attention to the following issues:

  • The assumption that the so-called EIC inventors are always the best placed to commercially exploit their research outcomes is plainly wrong.
  • The EIC inventors’ royalty-free access right overlooks and undermines the crucial role of research performing organisations’ knowledge valorisation services, including Knowledge (or Technology) Transfer Offices.
  • Fragmenting the rights of exploitation of IP between several actors and the fact that therefore only non-exclusive licenses can be granted to start-ups will drive away investors who generally only invests if start-ups are equipped with exclusive IP rights.
  • The definition of the EIC inventors erroneously conflates “inventorship”, usually used in international patent law and national legislation, for the inventor of a patent, and “authorship”, usually used for the author of a scientific publication.
  • The new EIC IPR provisions create additional uncertainties that may affect knowledge valorisation.
  • The EIC IP provisions are problematic for many research-performing organisations as they may conflict with their institutional, regional or national rules on handling IP and sharing royalties.

The statement has already been signed by Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP), Aurora Universities Network (AURORA), Coimbra Group, European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), EU-LIFE, The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild), IDEA League, and League of European Research Universities (LERU).

If your organisation would like to endorse the statement, please contact and share your organisation’s logo with the EARTO Secretariat.

Read full statement here.