IP management in Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Intellectual property (IP) management is a very important part of any successful project within the Horizon 2020 framework programme. Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSC) Actions are not an exception and participants should take the time to understand the IP rules and establish an effective and tailored plan for the protection and exploitation of research results and intellectual property (IP) arising within their projects.
The aim of this fact sheet is to outline the main IP-related issues that participants in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions should consider in the different stages of their projects.

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IP relevance in the SME Instrument

Selected highly innovative, ambitious and passionate small- or medium-sized enterprises (SME) with global ambitions are given the unique opportunity to receive excellent business resources and mentorship as well as substantial funding within the SME Instrument, which is part of the Horizon 2020 programme.

In a highly competitive process, the European Commission(EC) identifies the most promising companies among some of the European SMEs to invest in and support as part of the SME Instrument. Selected companies could receive up to €2.5 million in funding, and world-class business support and mentorship.

This fact sheet helps in identifying the most relevant intellectual property (IP) aspects that applicants should take into account when writing proposals and drafting the business plans needed in the first two Phases. Indeed, in the SME Instrument as in any other funding scheme, identifying the IP is essential to demonstrate that your project is innovative and has a commercial impact. Sound IP management is also essential to attract investors during the commercialisation Phase.

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Confidentiality considerations during project preparation

To enable more efficient administration in setting up a Horizon 2020 proposal, a consortium has agreed to make use of cloud server software, where all partners could easily keep in contact with each other and share information.

However, one of the SMEs involved in these negotiations was concerned about the disclosure of information to the partners through the cloud without any prior agreement between the partners. At the same time, however, the period for the preparation of the proposal was of six months duration and therefore the SME was concerned about finding an easy and quick solution, to avoid losing time that should be used for the preparation of the proposal.

In this case study you can see how this consortium easily overcame confidentiality concerns and was able to reach an optimal solution for all partners involved.

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Taking steps to the protection of databases

This new case study published by the European IPR Helpdesk addresses database protection in the EU Seventh Framework Programme by pointing out the difference between the protection of database content and structure, which may benefit from copyright and/or database sui generis protection.

Have a look at this interesting case!

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Open Access to scientific publications and research data in Horizon 2020: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Affordable and easy access to scientific information is very important for the scientific community itself, but also increasingly important for innovative small businesses. Improving access to scientific information is also about increasing openness and transparency, which are essential features of Responsible Research and Innovation and contributes to better policy-making.

All projects receiving Horizon 2020 funding will have the obligation to make sure any peer-reviewed journal article which they publish is openly accessible, free of charge.

This fact sheet is written as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, in order to answer queries received from Horizon 2020 applicants. This fact sheet should be read in parallel with the “Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020”.

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