Single patent takes another step forward
Ministers from 24 countries signed the agreement establishing a single court to deal with patent disputes. It’s an important advance for the Single Patent – but now for the hard part - securing national ratification in time for the first patent to be granted in April 2014
Plotting the shifts in Europe’s innovation ecosystem
Academics, SMEs and large companies are doing much more research in partnership. Science|Business looks back at some of the highlights of the move to open innovation in 2012, and the policy initiatives that are supporting this
Single patent gets political nod
After more than four decades of negotiation, impasse and posturing, 25 member states agree to create a unitary patent. MEPs who voted for the move promise simplification, lower costs and time-saving for hard-pressed SMEs.
Final EU patent deal could be in reach
MEPs reached a tentative compromise with Member States this week on the Single Patent. All that’s needed now is for EU ministers give the proposal a nod in December and for the European Parliament to vote yes too
EU leaders in deadlock over European patent
As lawmakers in Brussels frantically look for ways to break the stalemate over the Single EU patent, Science|Business takes a closer look at the political and legal dispute
ACES winner powers long-range electric cars to market
EVO Electric has applied novel technology to develop motors that combine high power with low weight, promising to increase the efficiency and appeal of electric cars and reduce CO2 emissions from hybrid petrol/electric cars
Changing the face of science
ACES winner Mendeley is revolutionising the way research is done – using cloud computing to create the largest crowd-sourced library in the world. Its software lets academics organise and annotate journal articles, and share and discuss their work with researchers around the globe
Change the mind-set around innovation in Europe
Europe needs a fresh cycle of innovation to create a more “reactive economy” that can absorb shocks and bounce back, the European Education Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou tells the Science|Business European Entrepreneurship Summit
All change for US patent law
A comprehensive reform of US patents takes effect today (16 September), when the America Invents Act is made law. The changes bring the US patent system into greater conformity with the rest of the world.
Single patent hits new barriers
Under pressure from the EU Court of Justice, the Commission issued proposals scaling back ambitions for the single patent court, while Spain and Italy launched a legal appeal
Products derived from embryonic stem cells are not patentable
Therapies based on human embryonic stem cells should not be granted patents, according to the latest opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union. If confirmed, this will have a major impact on stem cell research in Europe and on the European life sciences industry as a whole
European Patent Court wouldn’t be legal
The European Court of Justice has thrown a huge spanner into the plans for a single Court to deal with patent disputes, saying it is incompatible with EU law
EIT announces awards for entrepreneurs
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology – the EIT, set up by the European Union to encourage innovation – is to launch an awards programme for young entrepreneurs next year, in partnership with Science|Business. The move is part of a push to change attitudes to entrepreneurship in Europe, and was announced today (3 February) by EIT Board member Daria Tataj at the ACES Academic Enterprise conference, held at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
Recession is a time for innovation
Times may be hard, but it remains possible to be innovative, Henry Chesbrough, the father of Open Innovation and ESADE Visiting Professor, tells Science|Business.
New head chosen for EPO
The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office has elected Benoît Battistelli as its new President.
WIPO to simplify design registration
The countries of the World Intellectual Property Organisation last week suspended the earliest of the three acts that govern the International Deposit of Industrial Designs.
Nokia's embarrassment of riches
Nokia is to give away some of its intellectual property for free, in a scheme set up to recycle unused ideas and innovations to other Finnish companies.
EU Patents mill grinds on
A harmonised European patents regime has come one tiny step closer, with a recommendation of what the Unified Patent Litigation System should look like.
Large cut in trademarking fees from May
The European Commission has announced a 40 per cent cut in the cost of a Community Trademark, bringing the cost of applying online for a trademark to €900.
ACES profile: From student union to spin-out
Small start-ups can do big things when they know both their limitations and opportunities, says Neville McClenaghan, the co-founder of University of Ulster spin-out Diabetica Ltd.
EPO says fewer patents equals higher quality
The European Patent Office rejected more patent applications than it passed for the first time last year, a move that it says will to raise the quality of the patents it grants.
Macedonia becomes EPO member
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has ratified the European Patent Convention and, on 1 January, became a member of the European Patent Organisation (EPO).
Research in magic circles
GE Healthcare reckons that innovation happens more quickly if researchers from different laboratories pool their ideas.
Finding the upside in a down market
Select companies can still find funding from venture capitalists and the public market; others are using the depressed economy to cut costs.
Meet the ACES
It’s tough to spin out a company from a university in Europe. Read about those who have done it – and may be named the winners of the first pan-European awards for university spin-outs in Stockholm on 2 December.
The ACES Selection Committee
The finalists for the ACES Academic Enterprise Award were selected at a meeting on 5 November at University College London. Here are the participants.
UK court rules gene sequence patent invalid
The UK High Court issued its judgment Eli Lilly & Co v Human Genome Sciences Inc, the first UK case to decide the validity of a gene sequence patent discovered through bioinformatics.
Irish No vote to hit innovation agenda
In theory the French EU Presidency’s aims on research and innovation shouldn’t be impeded by fissures in the Lisbon Treaty. In practice, this political crisis will be hugely distracting.
EPO hears stem cell appeal
Two days were reserved by the European Patent Office to hear an appeal over the application for a stem cell patent. But only one was needed in the end.
New UK investment in synthetic biology
Four of the UK’s Research Councils have come together to invest £890,000 in new projects designed to rapidly build the expertise and capacity in the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Open Innovation in action
In 2007, the UK’s largest retail chemists chain set up a dedicated centre at Swansea University to promote open innovation. One year on, the first product is about to hit the market.
.eu domain name celebrates it second birthday
In the past two years 2.8 million European internet identities have been registered, making .eu, at its second birthday, the fourth most popular top level domain in Europe and the ninth worldwide.
Cybersquatting disputes on the rise
There was an unprecedented number of cybersquatting cases in 2007, according to the latest statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
EPFL takes the overhead route
Like many others, the Swiss EPFL has grand plans to attract international companies. Its secret weapon: renouncing royalties in favour of overhead financing.
Jean Stéphenne: the inside conqueror
Intrapreneur Jean Stéphenne, manager of GSK Biologicals, has transformed the company’s research organisation and revolutionised the global vaccines market.
US tech transfer continues at a good clip
The pace of new product introductions picked up in the US in 2006, although the number of start-up companies spun off from research institutions fell, according a new survey.
Alexander von Gabain: People, not location
Alexander von Gabain and his team laid the foundations of an enterprise that would rise to the top of the continent’s biotechnology pile – and rewrite the region’s rules for biotechnology start-ups.
Portugal pushes for Community Patent
Current holder of the EU presidency Portugal is claiming a breakthrough in the long-running drive to create a unified patent litigation system across Europe.
Valuing intellectual property
It's been tough to actually put a price on patents. Will reform of the US patent rules make it easier to capitalise on intellectual property?
Patents: France says Oui
With the French Senate ratifying the London Agreement on patent translation, technology companies can look to a much cheaper future.
ERA plans draw over 800 responses
The Green Paper on the formation of a European Research Area attracted more than 800 responses by the time the consultation came to an end this week.
EU and Japan reach research accord
The EU and Japan agreed to strengthen their research ties at a summit last week with plans to improve cooperation and the protection of intellectual property rights
Business angels support Warwick spin-out
Angel network Oxford Early investments is backing a spin-out company from Warwick University that is developing a fingerprint identification technology for use in personal ID cards, passports and access control systems.
Protein processor wins grant to improve techniques
A company set up to commercialise technology from the University of Cambridge has been awarded a £200,000 grant to help develop a technique that could revolutionise the manufacturing of protein-based drugs.
After the float: Imperial Innovations
How will Imperial College London's newly floated tech-transfer affiliate invest its stock-market millions? After raising the money, now comes the fun part: spending it.
Blue biotech emerges from the deep
Blue biotech is getting into its stride, as the tools of genomics and high throughput screening are applied to unlock the chemical diversity of the oceans.
FP7 passes despite stem cell controversy
Research ministers from the 25 countries in the European Union agreed Monday to continue devoting part of the Union's research budget to stem cell research, despite efforts by Germany to put a stop to the controversial practice.
Stem cell issue could derail FP7 at the 11th hour
The European Union’s €54 billion research budget for the next seven years may not be approved in time for the beginning of next year – if Slovenia carries out its threat to oppose the funding of stem cell research.
£181M price tag set for Imperial Innovations float
The technology-transfer unit of Imperial College London, continuing preparations for its stock-market debut on 31 July, said it has completed a £25 million private placement and set a public share price that would value the business at £181 million.
China bids for scientific supremacy
China has now set its sights on developing its scientific prowess in the same way - and at the same rate – as it has modernised its economy.
EIF steps into the seed funding gap
This week the European Investment Fund took the first step in its ambitious new plan to unleash a wave of technology transfer across Europe. In doing so it endorsed a model pioneered in the UK.
SMEs say yes to Framework
SMEs across Europe are backing to Framework Programme 7 - provided it avoids the funding pitfalls that emerged over the life of its predecessor.
The fission season is back
On Tuesday the UK became the latest country to jump back on the nuclear energy bandwagon. But 20 years after Chernobyl, how easy is it to turn on the nuclear tap?
Europe’s patent regime at the crossroads
As the European Commission ponders the single European patent, the European Patent Office is under attack from national patent offices that want some of its functions.
Israeli incubators blaze a trail
Israel’s high-tech incubator companies are joining the stock market – and perhaps providing a new model for technology commercialisation
UK capital fund programme jumps ahead
The UK government has announced the formation of two further Enterprise Capital Funds, one more than it intended to set up in the first phase of the programme.
Nano recharges battery technology
Battery capacity has been blamed for holding back innovation in many fields, from renewable energy to mobiles. Now nanotech is providing the answer.
EU research budget approved
Funds should start flowing at the start of 2007 in the €50 billion Framework Programme 7 after the European Parliament approved the budget.
Cambridge-MIT spins out comms network
The Cambridge-MIT Institute has spun out its Communications Research Network project as a company to step up the pace of innovation in communications.
R&D spend dictates regional innovation
Economic disparity across Europe's regions can be linked directly to investment in research and development and adoption of information technologies, says an official report.
Patenting goes the offshore route
Indian firms are training large numbers of patent agents - with their eye on the large number of companies abroad looking for cheaper patenting.
Sun to shine on Europe's energy policy
Active Solar Buildings – entirely heated and cooled by solar thermal energy – should become the standard by 2030 if the vision of the EU’s latest Technology Platform is realised.
Investors head for the central nervous system
Advances in neuroscience are opening up the treatment options for central nervous system diseases - at the same time as the ageing population is increasing the market for these products.
Neurotechnology: the next frontier
With global revenues of $110 billion last year, and an aging population, the nascent "neurotechnology" market appears poised for huge growth.
Why isn't Europe working?
European biotech is a hot topic among investors. They have supported as many start-ups as in the US but have seen far from equivalent returns. So what's going on? Science|Business talks to biotechnology consultant John Hodgson.
Can biotechnology embrace openness?
Open source software has broken the stranglehold of proprietary software vendors. Could the Biological Open Source initiative do the same in biotech?
Memo to CEO: spend more on R&D
The European Commission wants businesses to spend more on research and development - and to help encourage that, the agency is preparing a volley of government proposals for the Autumn.
No special favours for technology institute
The controversial proposal for a new European Institute of Technology hit more political turbulence, as the EU’s research commissioner questioned whether it should receive preferential funding.
The battle for second-generation biofuels
On 8 June the European Commission starts the evaluation of the biofuels technological platform it will support in 2007 - 2013. But the choice will be mired in political treacle.
Political problems dog research budget
A nagging political question still hovers over the EU funding debate: should the roughly €54 billion be spent exclusively on Europe's established crème de la scientific crème?
RFID: it's here, but is it ready?
Tracking goods by Radio Frequency Identification is said to be the next big market for wireless communication. But some in the field doubt the technology is mature enough.
Shape up, Commission tells universities
The European Commission told universities to modernise and pull their weight in the EU’s plans to become the leading knowledge-based economy, as it released an action plan for change.
On inventive Californians, technology transfer, how to approach the business press, and other insights into R&D management.
Cambridge split over new IP proposals
Cambridge University wants rights to the intellectual property generated by its staff. The idea has divided scientists in a university well known for its high-tech spin-outs.
Nanotech: what makes investors bite
Investing in technology that's a few years from commercialisation can be tricky. Lori Valigra finds out how some venture capitalists sort the wheat from the chaff.
Investing: Anyone got €500 million?
A new proposal from the European Investment Fund seeks to accelerate the success of European technology transfer projects. A noble idea, says Mary Lisbeth D'Amico in her fortnightly column, but no one has yet stepped up to foot the bill.
The big test
New regulations on the registration and testing of chemicals could have some problematic knock-on effects on European R&D – but they could also bring some lucrative work the way of contract research organisations.
An end to France's biotech drought?
It has been six years since a French biotech company made a stock market debut – and now two, BioAlliance and ExonHit, are doing so. Is the European market reawakening?
REACH's tortuous timetable
REACH, the EU's proposed legislation on the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals, is the trickiest piece of legislation that MEPs have ever had to deal with.
On the glut of patenting, BASF's rising research budget, football fever in the Commons, and other insights into R&D management