IP-Booster's mission was to provide a specialised intellectual property service for public research organisations to help them to generate real-world value from their EU project results. Five separate services were provided, each addressing a different need: from an initial IP audit, to patent landscaping, to due diligence, to preparing and designing a project's patent and trademark applications, to providing advice and support in technology transfer agreements.
It's still too early to evaluate the impact of these services, but how did the beneficiaries feel about the services they received?
A survey was carried out amongst beneficiaries from June to December 2021, to find out how they evaluated the services.
Observations from the beneficiaries
We delivered 442 services in total, to any public research organisation who had taken part in EU projects, so the beneficiaries come from a variety of backgrounds. Prof. Antonio Scilimati of University of Bari Aldo Moro, who has been working on a kit for diagnosing ovarian cancer using molecular methods, remarked that "the two reports are helping us to take more suitable actions to give value to our work."
We asked our beneficiaries which out of the five services provided were not available in their organisations. Support for IP Evaluation-Due Diligence received the majority of the votes, with 42%, meaning that this was the service that most organisations lacked. Other services follow: Patent Landscaping with 24%; Negotiating Technology Transfer with 14%; Initial IP Audit with 12%; and Patents, Design and Trademark Applications with 8% as can be seen in the next chart.
Answers from beneficiaries when they were asked about which services weren't available in their organisation.
Then, we asked if they would consider requesting more support on IP issues in the future, and 89% said yes. Those who answered affirmatively were also asked to specify which service would they need most. Again, IP Evaluation-Due Diligence was the clear favourite, with 32% of the votes. On this occasion, the order of preferences is almost the same: Patent Landscaping has 22% of the votes; Negotiating Technology Transfer comes after with 20%; Patents Design and Trademark Applications has 14%; and finally, Initial IP Audit with 12%, as shown in the graphic below.
Answers from beneficiaries when they were asked to ask for more support on IP issues in the future.
However, when it came to the improvement that the participants felt they gained, Initial IP Audit was reported by the beneficiaries as the service that most contributed to their understanding of IP value, with a score of 4.38 out of 5. And this service is followed by Patents, Design and Trademark Applications (4.08); Patent Landscaping (4.04); Negotiating Technology Transfer (3.75); and IP Evaluation-Due Diligence (3.6). See the bar chart below.
Answers from beneficiaries when they were asked about the services contribution for understanding IP's value.
Beneficiaries also chose the service that contributed most to the exploration of new pathways to commercialisation: Negotiating Technology Transfer came first with a score of 4.9 out of 5; as can be observed in the next bar chart. It is followed by Initial IP Audit (4.54); Patent Landscaping (4.38); Patents, Design and Trademark Applications (4.33); and IP Evaluation-Due Diligence (4.15).
Answers from beneficiaries when they were asked about the services contribution for exploring new pathways to commercialization.
Overall, the feedback received demonstrates that IP related services are needed, as a clear majority overwhelmingly agreed they would ask for more help in the future. The less experienced TTOs saw the most benefit from the learning process. The IP Evaluation-Due Diligence service has had a strong impact because it gave the TTOs a confident starting point for licensing negotiations or in helping to confirm an IP evaluation. This is an important outcome because the impact in Research & Innovation continues to increase in Europe and research organisations could benefit from programmes like IP-Booster.
"The service had several major impacts on me," said Dr Mislav Jelic, Associate Professor of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia. "I was able to modify the way I negotiated the deal with my investors, since your report allowed me to have a strong position during the negotiations."