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Innovation and Intellectual Property Management (IIPM) Laboratory

Building stronger intellectual property strategy capabilities

Supporting SMEs to suceed with open innovation

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are considered to be the engine of the European economy. They are expected to lead the ‘twin transitions’ towards climate neutrality and digital leadership set out in the European Commission’s (The Commission) industrial strategy. It is generally accepted that they will play an important role in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While SMEs are a heterogeneous group of businesses, many SMEs pioneer new technologies, products, services and software. As those solutions become increasingly technologically complex, SMEs more frequently engage in collaborations with a wide range of partners, i.e. Open Innovation (OI). After an official commitment to OI in 2016, the Commission continues to promote OI as part of its digital single market and innovation policies. Not only for SMEs working on key enabling technologies, their Hard-IP (e.g. patents, trademarks), but often more so their Soft-IP (e.g. data, know-how), represents a considerable value to their business. However, a large share of SMEs still lacks awareness and understanding of IP, not least to effectively appropriate the benefits of OI. This study was commissioned to provide an empirical basis for existing OI models and the extent to which IP – including patents, utility models, designs, but also trade secrets, data and know-how – facilitates or hinders OI, with a particular focus on SMEs.


Additive manufacturing innovationsAdditive Manufacturing Innovations by UK Organisations

A review of patents and literature published between 2006 and 2015
Jane List and Frank Tietze


Future patent analyticsExploring The Future Of Patent Analytics

Leonidas Aristodemou and Frank Tietze


News & Blog articles

Visit to Chalmers University of Technology

28 March 2024

Frank attended the final seminar acting as discussants for Sarah van Santen, PhD student of Prof. Marcus Holgersson at the Department for Technology Management and Economics. Her thesis includes two studies unpacking the role of IP in digital and sustainable entrepreneurship. This was a good opportunity to meet again with...

Talk by Prof. Caroline Ncube at King's College

22 March 2024

Within the context of our GOCIA project (Governing Climate Innovation from Africa), it was an honour to host Prof. Caroline Ncube at King's College, Cambridge for a talk on "African perspectives on governing Science, Technology and Innovation to advance the SDGs" during which she introduced her new book, the " Elgar...

GOCIA project visit to Johannesburg

4 March 2024

It has been a fantastic visit to Johannesburg attending the “Transforming Africa: Innovating our way towards sustainability” organised by Erika Kraemer-Mbula and her team from the DSI/NRF SARChI-Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation (TRCTI) . During the conference we had a chance to meet several colleagues...