At the very foundation of the system of patents lies stimulation of technological economic development and promotion of competition by creating financial motivation for inventions in exchange for making them public. The result of patent protection is information, why may then be used for scientific research aimed at upgrading published patent documents, all making possible continuous creation and application of new knowledge, the key objective of public research.
Furthermore, the results of research achieved in research institutions and universities may be protected for the purpose of their commercial exploitation. By protecting the results of their research, research institutions create a basis for securing additional funds to be used for new research, either through granting licences, or founding start-up enterprises which commercialize intellectual property.
For this reason the trend of applying for patents by public research institutions, which began in the United States in the 1980s, is also spreading in Europe. Stimulating universities and other public research institutions to be more active in protecting and exploiting IP means not just their active promotion, but also stimulation of the development of co-operation with the economy, while simultaneously protecting the public interest.
As regards supporting public research, the EIC provides support in the form of a service of disseminating information and education realized through consultations and conducting training, seminars and workshops aimed at identification, protection, management and exploitation of the results of research as intellectual property created in institutions involved in research. In a broader context this helps to promote innovation – transformation of ideas into products, processes and technologies benefiting society as a whole.