Skip to main content


Regional Development Agency and Intellectual Property: EUIPO's Supportive Initiatives for Regional Companies

Article written by Neus Armenjach - Junior Communications Officer

On 18 April 2024, EURADA and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) collaborated to host the third webinar for Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to provide an overview of European activities related to Intellectual Property (IP) for local SMEs.

EURADA and EUIPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Spring 2021, aiming to promote services that support small businesses, including training in IP, knowledge sharing, event participation, and awareness raising.  

After the success of the first two editions of this webinar, EURADA aims to keep equipping RDAs with a comprehensive understanding of EU initiatives concerning IP for local SMEs, with a special emphasis this year on the Protection of EU Designs. Public authorities and Entrepreneurs should understand that Intellectual Property might play a crucial role in supporting local development. Securing your intellectual property reinforces innovation on the territory, and innovation is a key to support the local economy and employment. 

Giacomo Frisanco, the Communication, Policy and Membership Manager at EURADA opened the webinar by highlighting the vital cooperation between EURADA and EUIPO for enhancing regional development and fostering innovation within Europe. 

Eamonn Kelly, head of service in the Operation Department of EUIPO introduced the importance of Design Protection at the EU Level and then gave the floor to Alfonso Cid Gonzalez, the Team Leader in the Operation Department in the Design Unit at EUIPO who provided a comprehensive overview of the importance of safeguarding the design of the products encouraging development agencies to promote the importance of IP to their companies and collaboration partners. He also discussed the importance of correctly registering trademarks and protecting designs, including unregistered and registered designs. Furthermore, participants gained insights into how to register a design and the accessibility to it through the availability of the application materials in all EU languages and the provision of assistance in one's native language by the EUIPO office. Cid stressed the importance of IP in business strategies for SMEs and highlighted that SMEs should view intellectual property as an investment rather than a cost. 

Elisavet Karagiampi discussed the SME fund during the webinar, which provides financial support to European SMEs to protect their IP and develop their IP strategy. The application runs until 6 December 2024 or until the funds are exhausted. The four vouchers covered this year include IP scans with a grant amount up to €1350, trademarks with a grant of €1000, designs and patent-related activities up to €3500, and Plant Varieties with a grant amount of up to €1500, with reimbursement rates varying based on the type of activity and whether it is at the national, regional, EU, or international level.  

Overall, the webinar provided valuable insights into the importance of IP for SMEs, the available financial support through the SME fund, and the new grant scheme initiative to promote IP awareness. Development agencies and collaboration partners were encouraged to promote the importance of IP to SMEs and help them protect their intellectual assets.  

Together with EUIPO we contribute to strengthen the innovation ecosystem, empowering businesses to protect their innovations and drive economic growth across Europe. 

Stay tuned for further endeavours together with EUIPO!