The 'ideas powered for business' SME fund is established to improve access to intellectual property rights for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union.
The programme is an initiative of the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in cooperation with the national intellectual property offices, including the Belgian Intellectual Property Office (IPObel).
What Types of Funding?
Voucher 1 : IP Scan (90 % reimbursement on IP pre-diagnostic services)
Pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan) are services that analyse which actions may be useful for a given company in relation to intellectual property rights. They are essential for the development of an SME's IP strategy.
- An IP Scan does not include legal advice.
- Don't apply without being sure. If you have doubts about the need for an IP Scan for your company, go through the criteria below first.
- The maximum reimbursement for this service is 1,350 euros (90% of 1,500 euros, the ceiling for the total cost of this analysis).
The pre-diagnostic IE analysis or IP Scan consists of the following steps:
- After approval from the EUIPO, the Belgian Intellectual Property Service (IPObel) puts Belgian SMEs into contact with a recognised expert from a PATLIB centre, who will carry out the IP Scan.
- Preparation: the IPObel requests the SME to complete a self-assessment questionnaire, which will help the expert to get a picture of the IP rights of the company. The SME pays the full amount for the services to be carried out, after which an interview is scheduled.
- Interview: the expert interviews the entrepreneur to find out the company's IPR needs and areas of improvement. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to use online communication tools for this purpose.
- Final results: The expert reports to the SME and reimbursement can be requested through the EUIPO.
Voucher 2: trademark or design application (up to 75% discount on the fee)
- 75% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees at national, regional and EU level
- 50% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees outside the EU
The maximum reimbursement for this service is 1,000 euros. The level of protection you choose (national, regional, EU, or international) will depend on your business strategy and your growth plans.
Who Can Benefit from the Subsidy Programme?
In the course of 2023, all companies in the European Union that meet the definition of an SME, as drawn up by the European Commission, will be able to apply for this subsidy fund.
How to apply?
Apply for your vouchers via the EUIPO website, from 23 January 2023 to 8 December 2023:
- Grant funds are limited and available on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
- Both vouchers can only be applied for once a year.
- Choose voucher 1 or 2, or both, whether in the same period or not.
- Vouchers remain after activation valid for a maximum of 6 months.
If you have any questions on this subject, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Contact Point of the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property of the FPS Economy is at your disposal.
More information on how to apply can be found on the dedicated EUIPO webpage and in the list of "FAQ – Frequently asked questions".