Semiconductor company Qualcomm has teamed up with sovereign investment fund France Brevets and IP Europe, an alliance of innovation-intensive companies, to form Patent Factory Europe (PFE).
PFE, which will be launched across Europe in 2019, will provide resources and know-how to help innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop more patents and build strong IP.
The financing and advisory mechanism will be run by IP Europe and France Brevets, with additional funding from Qualcomm.
Announced during IP Europe’s Annual SME Summit on Friday, June 22, the initiative has a two-fold approach: to help SMEs bridge the “challenging” period between their creation as start-ups and gaining access to early rounds of investments, and support the success of existing and future EU innovation initiatives by providing a “gateway to funding”.
Francisco Mingorance, executive secretary of IP Europe, said: “IP and access to finance are the two essential fuels which can sustain innovative entrepreneurs through the challenges of the start-up and scale-up phases of business development.”
Mingorance added that while steps have been taken to enable SMEs to access finance in Europe, the alliance has not yet seen a strong “ecosystem” of supporting advisory services.
PFE will work with in-house and external IP experts to help increase strategic patent portfolios and also work with external patent counsel to advise the company seeking funding.
Didier Patry, CEO of France Brevets, said: “This state-of-the-art initiative is designed to help start-ups and scale-ups to build a strong patent portfolio that supports their continued growth by ensuring the efficient and long-lasting protection of innovative technology.”
Alex Rogers, Qualcomm executive vice president and president of technology licensing, added that the company sees IP as a catalyst for start-ups, SMEs and economic growth in Europe.
He added: “As compared to prior generations of mobile, we expect 5G technology to provide an even broader set of opportunities for SMEs to develop new business models and bring to market new products and services.”