The EPO Academic Research Programme provides financial support for rigorous research projects that set out to produce empirical evidence with relevant implications for policymakers and business in Europe.
The first annual call for projects is offering a total of EUR 300 000 in patent research grants. Selected projects will be granted between EUR 20 000 and EUR 100 000 each.
The EPO may also offer assistance on a case-by-case basis, for example by sharing internal expertise or helping to organise project-specific workshops.
The grants will be awarded to a limited number of well-defined projects addressing a specific question within the six thematic areas listed below, spanning various disciplinary fields including economics, IP management, IP law and data sciences. Interdisciplinary projects will also be considered.
The European patent system's impact on trade and investment in Europe
Patent services and intermediaries in Europe
IP business models and patent valuation methods
Patents for SMEs and universities in Europe
Patents and climate change mitigation technologies
Advanced use of PATSTAT and patent analytics.
Project proposals must be submitted in English.
The call for projects is open to individuals and research teams based in a member state of the European Patent Organisation. In the case of cross-organisational co-operation, the proposal must be submitted and the project led by an individual or research team based in a member state of the European Patent Organisation.
The proposals will be peer-reviewed by external experts specialising in the relevant research area. The grants will be awarded by the Programme's Scientific Committee chaired by the EPO Chief Economist by the end of July 2017.
Research proposals will be rated according to the following criteria:
originality and innovativeness of the research question
potential policy/business implications
clarity and quality of the proposed methodology
ability of the applicant to successfully complete the project
relevance of the proposed budget.
How to apply
Project proposals - in English - must be submitted using the template available for download in the top-right corner of this page.
The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 June 2017.
Queries and completed applications should be sent to ARP@epo.org.
Why has the EPO introduced the Academic Research Programme?
The EPO recognises the importance of high-quality research on patent-related intellectual property (IP) matters to inform policymakers and facilitate sound business decisions in a context where intangible assets, innovation and IP rights have become pivotal in the economy. With this research programme, the EPO seeks in particular to encourage more academic research on the role of patents in the European economy and to promote the dissemination of research results.