Open Innovation & Intellectual Property

May 2020: Through our on-going engagement with Cambridge University (IfM ECS) we have recently kicked-off a 12-month project to study Open Innovation & Intellectual Property – barriers and enables for SMEs across Europe. The project is called POINT and is funded by the EASME.

More info about POINT can be found at our website:

The European Union (EU) has been promoting Open Innovation collaboration models as part of its digital single market and innovation policies. Open Innovation enables inter alia faster innovation cycles.

POINT will provide an empirical basis for existing collaboration models based on Open Innovation and the extent to which intellectual property (IP), including patents, utility models, designs, trade secrets and know-how, facilitates or hinders Open Innovation.

POINT consists of 8 work items, over four main tasks: Planning, Data collection, Analysis and Policy Recommendations.

Commencing in May 2020 POINT aims to engage with SMEs, HEIs and PROs across Europe in order to collect evidence through interviews.

Organisations will be selected based on pre-determined criteria, and from within six value chains from: 

  1. Microelectronics
  2. Internet of Things (IoT)
  3. Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles
  4. Food and FMCG
  5. Smart health
  6. Cybersecurity


  • to identify and describe categories of Open Innovation (‘OI’) processes 
  • to identify and describe the typical IP issues/arrangements/implications occurring in OI processes 
  • to identify ways in which IP should be managed to facilitate the implementation of certain OI processes as well as their potential impact on the profitability of individual stakeholders involved 
  • to detect possible problems relating to the use of IP in an Open Innovation context, and identify ways to overcome them 
  • to analyse the participation of SMEs, Higher education institutes (HEIs) performing research and other public research organisations (PROs) in Open Innovation collaborations and identify the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs, in particular with regard to their IP strategy

About EASME 

The EASME – Executive Agency for SMEs (

EASME’s vision: ‘We aim to help create a more competitive and resource-efficient European economy based on knowledge and innovation’ 

Contact information of POINT core team: 

Graham Bell (Project Lead) – IfM ECS Industrial Associate

Dr Frank Tietze – Head, Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) Lab 

Dr Pratheeba Vimalnath – Research Associate, Innovation and IP Management (IIPM) Lab 

Dr Diana Khripko – IfM ECS