The Intellectual Property in Education Network aims to promote creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and responsible digital engagement among young Europeans.
In the globalised and digitalised 21st century, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and an enhanced digital skillset are, more than ever, at the heart of European economic, cultural and social wealth.
Protecting your own work and respecting the work of others plays an increasingly important role in the professional and private lives of all citizens. Therefore, knowledge of basic principles, built around respect for one’s own and others’ ideas, combined with an awareness of its value, allows young people to reap the financial, societal and cultural benefits of their intellectual potential as digital content creators. Therefore, intellectual property should be firmly established in the education of young Europeans.
Following the Intellectual Property and Education in Europe report, showing the need for greater coherence in IP inclusion in education, the EUIPO set up a network of experts from the education ministries of the EU Member States and representatives from the national IP offices. The aim of this network is to bring the relevant parties together to formulate a common approach to IP in education so that concepts such as creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and the ethical use of IP-protected materials can shape the knowledge and behaviour of responsible digital natives. The member list of the network is exhaustive. It gets together twice a year at plenary meetings and works throughout the year on specialised tasks developed by the stakeholders in the Intellectual Property in Education project.
This project promotes the legal, ethical and responsible use of, as well as engagement with, digital technologies for learning. It plays a key role in the overall EU education strategy highlighted in the 2018 Council Conclusions on moving towards a vision of a European Education Area, and confirmed by the 2020 Council conclusions on digital education in Europe’s knowledge societies, where the EUIPO IP in Education project and its dedicated network have been acknowledged and further endorsed. It also links to the European Commission Communication for the European Education Area by 2025 and Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), adopted on 30 September 2020 and paving the way for achieving a renewed vision of education by 2025.
So far the IP in Education project has focused mainly on primary and secondary schools and teacher training colleges. Together with its stakeholders and members it has produced and disseminated plenty of educational materials. One of the most visible deliverables of the IP in Education project has been the Ideas Powered@school initiative. In the newly approved strategy for 2021-2025 the IP in Education network plans to:
- strengthen partnerships with teachers’ unions, text-book publishers and other relevant stakeholders;
- support the integration of the IP-related European key competences for lifelong learning in the national curricula;
- develop new, digital, teacher training materials on IP;
- develop specialised teacher training courses/workshops/sessions;
- develop new IP materials, e.g. through grants and bilateral projects;
- create FAQs on copyright for teachers by country, taking into account the implementation of the new copyright directive/teaching exception;
- disseminate digital IP materials from primary to tertiary education in close collaboration with network members;
- explore the need for IP knowledge training materials for vocational education and training (VET) institutions, universities of Applied Science (UAS), and teacher training colleges;
- launch pilot projects with VET and UAS networks and teacher training colleges.
The deliverables of the IP in Education project are often supported by the EUIPO through financial schemes, for example, cooperation agreements with national IP offices and grants, which can be solicited by private as well as public parties. In 2020 alone, the EUIPO financed around 30 projects with an overall budget of approximately EUR 500 000.