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VARIO Advisory report 30 discussed in Flemish Parliament


VARIO Advisory report 30 discussed in Flemish Parliament

On 21 April VARIO published its advice 30 on ‘Strengthening Flanders' technology position with regard to patents’. On May 4 the advisory report was discussed in the Commission for Economy, Work, Social Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemish Parliament. Minister for Innovation Jo Brouns explained that this advice came about at the explicit request of his predecessor and himself after an earlier VARIO report which showed that there was still a lot of room for improvement w.r.t. valorization. He indicated that he would certainly look further into two points. “First of all, it is clear that we need to move to a more intricate dataset to measure at an international level and adjust policy accordingly. For instance, we can look with the R&D monitoring expertise center to see how this can be further expanded, with sub-indicators for example. Secondly, it is clear that patent applications themselves are not an objective. This has also been taken into account in the new SOC covenants with imec and VIB. After all, we want to monitor the quantitative KPIs over time in order to monitor their quality. Will the patents be sold, will spin-offs be set up and so on?

VARIO figures show that the patent ranking of knowledge institutions is regarded as very good internationally. It does indicate, however, that more patent applications can be expected based on R&D investments in Flanders. This applies most strongly to companies and to a lesser extent to our knowledge institutions. (…) Most patent applications are filed by large companies. The potential among SMEs is certainly there. Continuing to raise awareness and inform SMEs to emphasize the importance and usefulness remains important. A patent application also takes a lot of time and effort, especially for smaller SMEs.

Together with VLAIO, it will be investigated whether patent applications can be eligible for support, in addition to the existing subsidy options in R&D projects for some costs of protecting project results in SMEs. We will also make a comparison with our neighboring countries, whether there are similar measures we can take additionally. It is good that this advisory report is now available and we will continue to work together with EWI and VLAIO, take the necessary steps to certainly take the recommendations to heart and convert them into an even stronger policy for more Flemish patents”.

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Advisory report 30: Streng­the­ning Flanders' tech­no­lo­gy position with regard to patents

24 April 2023
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