Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW Newsroom

Intellectual property: new advice service for SMEs launched

Today we are launching the ‘Horizon Intellectual Property (IP) Scan’ service. This tailored, first-line and free IP support service is designed to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to efficiently manage and valorise IP in collaborative research and innovation efforts.

The Horizon IP Scan has a particular focus on EU-funded Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe projects.

Building on a vast network of experienced, local IP experts covering all EU and Horizon-associated countries, the Horizon IP Scan team provides an individual, professional, jargon-free assessment of SME’s intangible assets to

  • show them how to protect their existing IP when starting on a research and innovation endeavour with multiple partners
  • assist them in developing a shared strategy with their partners to manage and exploit new IP jointly generated in their project

Who can apply?

The service is open to European start-ups and SMEs (according to the European Commission SME definition) that are about to sign a Horizon (2020/Europe) Grant Agreement or have recently signed one (up to six months after signature). In addition, Horizon IP Scan caters to SMEs signposted by the Horizon Results Booster during the first half to the project.

SMEs that are referred to a Horizon IP Scan by the Enterprise Europe Network in relation to planned cooperation with other entities on an R&I project are also eligible for the service up to six months after the beginning of a project, but preferably before any agreement is signed.

How to apply?

SMEs interested in the Horizon IP Scan can apply for the service at any time via the Horizon IP Scan website using the continuous open call.

Based on a first come, first served approach, the service may either be provided to a single SME or, preferably, a group of SMEs involved in a collaborative research project. Managed by a central coordination team, the successful SME(s) applicant(s) will be matched individually with the corresponding local IP expert(s). Usually, the language applied will be that of the applicant(s) or English.


The EU needs to strengthen the position of its innovators and entrepreneurs and be more autonomous technologically. More conscious intellectual property management is a tool that can be used to achieve this and to support innovation to solve societal challenges. The Commission announced in the IP Action Plan of 2020 that it will roll out tailor-made IP advice in the Horizon Europe programme, assisting innovative businesses at different stages of the R&I process.

Learn more about the service, its benefits for SMEs and further application details at the Horizon IP Scan website.