European Research & Innovation (R&I) funding programmes, in particular Horizon Europe, offer great opportunities for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to leverage external knowledge through collaboration. There is a multitude of reasons why small businesses participate in EU funding programmes. Besides seeking grants to finance Research & Development personnel, SMEs consider collaborative R&I projects an ideal “Open Innovation” (OI) environment to jointly develop new technologies, products, or services. However, such multi-partner collaborations bring together very different partners from academia, research, and industry with varying motivations and interests. Collaborative R&I projects showcase a mix of plans and pathways to use project outcomes beyond the project, thus resulting in a higher complexity for Intellectual Property (IP) management strategies and good practices to meet the needs and expectations of all partners involved.
This article provides an overview on the IP strategy framework and related rules, procedures, and best practices in European R&I funding programmes.