The Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund is a 20 million Euro grant scheme created to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access their intellectual property rights.
Supported by the European Commission and the EUIPO, the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund is aimed at businesses that wish to develop their IP strategies and protect their IP rights, at national, regional or EU level.
Covering IP pre-diagnostic services (IP scan) and/or trade mark and design applications, the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund can help you power your business.
Each SME can be reimbursed up to a maximum of EUR 1 500.
75% off IP pre-diagnostic services
Professional IP auditors will help you to identify the value of your intellectual property assets. This can help you learn how to shape your IP business strategy now - and in the future.
50% off trade mark and design
Once you have decided what intellectual property rights you would like to protect at a national, regional and EU level, you can get 50% off your basic application fees.
* IP pre-diagnostic services under this scheme are only available through participating national and regional IP offices of the EU. Before applying, you should check the list to ensure that the IP office in your Member State offers this service.
The SME Fund is aimed directly at small and medium-sized enterprises based in the 27 EU Member States, distributed in five phases (windows) during 2021. If your enterprise fits the official EU definition of a SME, you can apply for support for the services described above.
The application windows will open according to the following timetable:
11 January 2021
- 31 January 2021
1 March 2021
- 31 March 2021
1 May 2021
- 31 May 2021
1 July 2021
- 31 July 2021
1 Sept. 2021
- 30 Sept. 2021
Applications made outside each of the five designated time periods will not be considered. Only one application can be made for service 1 or service 2 or a combination of both, always with a maximum reimbursement of EUR 1 500 per applicant. If you request one services in one window, you can apply for the other service in a subsequent window. Grants will be awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Before applying, please make sure you can answer “yes” to all the following questions:
|Is your company an established small and medium enterprise, based in the European Union?|
|Have you read the call for proposals before filling in the application form?|
|Do you know your company’s bank details and have a bank statement (sample) with the following details: company name as account holder; IBAN number (examples); and BIC/SWIFT code?|
|Do you have your company’s VAT certificate?|
|Do you know what service/s you plan to apply for (Service 1/Service 2 or both) as outlined in the call for proposals?|
|Do you know what IP rights (trade marks and/or designs) you plan to apply for (Service 2)|
|Do you fully understand that you cannot request these services if you have already received national or EU funding for the same services or part thereof?|
If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, proceed to the application form (within the application windows):
What can I get?
Two types of service are available under this scheme and involve partial reimbursement of the costs of IP pre-diagnostic services (IP scan, Service 1) and trade mark and design applications at national, regional (Benelux) and EU level (Service 2).
Each SME can be reimbursed up to a maximum of EUR 1 500.
IP pre-diagnostics are key in building your IP strategy as a business. Intellectual property auditors look at your business model, products and/or services and growth plans to formulate a strategy for you. This service can help you decide what IP rights to apply for, how to develop your IP portfolio if you already have registered rights, and how to plan your strategy for the future.
IP pre-diagnostic services under this scheme are only available through participating national and regional IP offices of the EU. Before applying, you should check the list to ensure that the IP office in your Member State offers this service. After receiving the IP pre-diagnostic service you might also want to register your IP rights.
If you are considering registering a trade mark or a design at either EU, regional (Benelux), or national level, this scheme could be for you.
You can apply for a 50% reimbursement on trade mark and/or design basic application fees. The territorial level of protection you choose will obviously depend on your business strategy and your growth plans. But if you're not sure what to apply for, and where, an IP pre-diagnostic service (IP scan, Service 1) could help to steer you in the right direction. Alternatively you can contact your national or regional IP office for information.
How do I apply?
You can only apply for the SME Fund during the five designated windows in 2021. The EUIPO will not consider applications that come to us outside those time frames. The application process itself has just three simple steps:
First of all, carefully read the call for proposals on our grants page. Then, submit the online application form along with the required documentation to check your SME status and determine whether or not your application can go ahead. See our checklist before you apply. You will receive an email acknowledging the reception of your application. If you're successful, you'll receive a grant decision signed by the Office. Keep it safe - you will need it later! Unsuccessful applicants will be informed on the reasons for the negative decision.
Next, apply and pay for your trade mark and/or design and/or IP pre-diagnostic service (IP scan) within 30 days of receiving your grant decision. Trade marks and designs can be applied for at one of the national intellectual property offices of the EU (national level), in the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property (covering Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg; regional level), or with us in the EUIPO (covering all the Member States of the EU). This can be done online, quickly and easily. IP pre-diagnostic services are available in the national offices that offer this service (see below list).
Finally, once you've paid for the services, submit your request for reimbursement using the link available in the grant decision (point 1). Once submitted, you will get an email acknowledging the reception of the request for payment. The payment, subject to the approval of the information and documentation submitted, will be made within one month and beneficiaries will be notified by email accordingly.
Small and medium-sized enterprises make up 99% of all EU businesses. However, only around 9% of SMEs have their IP rights registered. The SME Fund, a joint action of the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), was created to support small and medium enterprises to secure their IP rights. It complements a wide range of activities developed by the EUIPO under the Ideas Powered for business brand, aimed at supporting SMEs.
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