Industrial Property Office

Invitation to participate in the EPO Innovation Contest

As part of the EPC's 40th anniversary celebrations, the European Patent Office is staging an Innovation Contest to give students in the European Patent Organisation's member states an opportunity to explore the wealth of available patent documentation, and to suggest new areas of innovation, particularly in the green technology and sustainable development sectors.

The contest is open to students of all disciplines who are at least 18 years old, enrolled at a university, college or equivalent academic institution in one of the Organisation's member states. There is no entry fee.

Contestants will be asked to define a research project of potential interest for future R&D. Their paper should include:

- a description of a technical problem currently faced in one of the following five fields:
A. Sustainable food production
B. Eco-friendly energy production and storage
C. Waste management, recycling and urban mining
D. Smart transport and traffic management systems
E. Smart house technology

- a presentation of the state of the art currently available in the problem area

- a general account of the market potential for the suggested solution to the chosen technical problem

As your national IP office, we will collect applications and then select a single contestant or team of contestants for each technical field. You should submit a CV (max. 2 pages) and an outline of your project, including title and topic. Describe a problem currently faced in the relevant technical field and indicate why finding a solution would be worthwhile.
If you are selected, you will be registered on a dedicated distance learning (DL) programme offering guidance on how to develop your initial idea. The working language of the DL programme and accompanying online mentoring will be English, but you can submit your final paper in any one of the EPO's official languages, i.e. English, French or German.

Registration for the programme starts on 14 January 2013 and must be completed by 15 March 2013.
We would therefore appreciate it if you could send us your application by 28 February 2013 at the latest.
The DL programme will be offered from 18 March to 13 June 2013.
The deadline for submitting the final papers is 13 July 2013 at 15.00 hrs CET.

An international jury will select the winners, who will be invited to attend an award ceremony in Munich on 17 October 2013.

For more detailed information, see the "Rules of Participation" (pdf, 137 kB).

What is in it for you?

The DL programme offers you a unique opportunity to learn about the patent system. Tutoring will enable you to analyse patent information for the purposes of your specific studies and research and show you how you can best profit from the European patent system in your professional career.

All contestants who submit a final paper will be awarded a one year subscription to the EPO's professional search tools on PISE/GPI, starting from October 2013.

An international jury will evaluate the papers and select the winners on the basis of transparent criteria. The intellectual effort displayed by you in your final paper will therefore receive recognition at European level.

The EPO will invite the winners to attend an award ceremony in Munich on 17 October 2013 and pay their travel and accommodation costs. The winner in each of the five categories will be awarded a prize of EUR 5 000.

At the award ceremony, the winners will also have an opportunity to present their research project to a distinguished audience.

To apply, please contact:

Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic
A. Cermaka 2a
160 68 Prague

Contact person:
Zuzana Belohradska (e-mail:, tel. 220 383 503)