[Brussels: 13 December 2018] Today, the European Parliament has voted in the BUDG and ECON committees to approve funding for the InvestEU programme, as part of the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027. The programme is designed to boost the growth of a new generation of innovative enterprises and SMEs in Europe. It brings together the various EU financial instruments currently available (such as EFSI, CEF instruments, specific facilities under the COSME programme, and others) in order to benefit from economies of scale, and to expand the Juncker Plan model.
Notably, InvestEU includes provisions for supporting innovative SMEs in using their intellectual property portfolios to raise growth capital and develop. This represents the first time that such proposals for supporting SMEs through IP financing are included in the EU budget.
IP Europe, having developed its own financing and advisory mechanism in Patent Factory Europe, welcomes today’s vote and supports the EU’s efforts to boost its competitiveness and its innovation ecosystem, as well as to create the ‘unicorns’ of tomorrow.
Francisco Mingorance, Executive Secretary of IP Europe, said: “InvestEU shines a spotlight on just how important intellectual property is for R&D intensive businesses: IP and access to finance are fundamental in sustaining innovative entrepreneurs through the challenges of the start-up and scale-up phases of business development.
“Today’s vote ensures that SMEs will be supported in using their IP to raise capital to support their development and sustain growth without being forced to sell either the company or equity to larger, potentially non-European entities.
“In advance of the final adoption of the next MFF, we call upon the European Commission to extend the pilot schemes already under way, to benefit innovative companies and validate the pan-European approach of InvestEU.”
In June 2018, IP Europe – alongside France Brevets and Qualcomm – announced a similar advisory mechanism for innovative European SMEs, called Patent Factory Europe. This mechanism provides resources, competences, and know-how to help SMEs in Europe develop strategic patents and build strong, focused, and usable IP. The objective of this initiative – which will have a pan European launch in 2019 to help SMEs bridge the challenging period between their creation as start-ups and access to their first and following Series A and B rounds of venture capital investments.
About IP Europe
IP Europe brings together R&D intensive European companies and research institutes committed to innovation, from SMEs to global enterprises and non-profit research entities operating in a variety of industrial sectors. They all share a common goal: to maintain, at all policy levels, strong patent protection for innovators and support recognised fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory standardisation policies adopted by consensus that preserve fair compensation for innovators. IP Europe supports the use of Injunctive Relief against patent infringers and free riders that rely on R&D investments made by others to earn higher profits.
IP Europe was originally launched by Ericsson, Airbus and France Brevets. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft participates in IP Europe in its capacity of academic advisor.