Valorisation of scientific results

Patent commercialisation scoreboard: European universities and public research organisations

Universities and public research organisations (PROs) play a key role in Europe’s innovation ecosystems as sources of scientific knowledge that can be transferred to industry. This scoreboard assesses the ways in which they use the European patent system for this purpose.

This study is based on a survey of European universities and PROs that have filed patent applications with the European Patent Office (EPO) between 2007 and 2018. It provides detailed information on their patented inventions, commercialisation patterns, and the challenges faced by research institutions in bringing them to market.

Research institutions already commercialise more than one third (36%) of the inventions for which they have filed a patent application with the EPO. Licensing is by far their preferred commercialisation channel (70% of commercialised inventions). They report setting up a spin-off company as a motive for 41% of commercialised inventions.

Surprisingly, commercialisation partners include SMEs and large companies in equal proportions (around 40% each). Most of the successful collaborations (74%) involve partners from the same country and only 27% partners across European borders.

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