List of services providers
CEN/TC 438 - Additive Manufacturing
Funded in 2015, CEN/TC 438 has the main objective to provide a complete set of European standards on processes, test procedures, quality parameters, supply agreements, fundamentals and vocabulary based, as far as possible, on international standardisation work. The aim is to apply the Vienna Agreement with ISO/TC 261 "Additive Manufacturing" to ensure consistency and harmonization by approval of ISO-European (EN) standards and the with drawl of standards from individual member states on specific subjects covered by ISO-EN standards. CEN/TC 438 strengthens the link between European Research programs and standardisation in additive manufacturing and ensures visibility by centralising standardisation AM initiatives in Europe.
ISO Technical Committee (TC261)
To standardise AM on a global scale, International Standardization Organisation (ISO) has created in 2011 the technical committee TC261 to begin discussions on standardisation in the field of AM concerning their processes, terms and definitions, process chains (Hard- and Software), test procedures, quality parameters and supply agreements. The work being conducted for the time being is very much in the early phases but shows a commitment to promote the technology across various industrial sectors. Standardisation bodies from European Member States are represented in ISO. http://www.iso.org/iso/standards_development/technical_committees/other_bodies/iso_technical_committee.htm?commid=629086
ASTM F42 Committee
The American Society of the International Association for Testing and Materials (ASTM F42) committee on AM Technologies was formed in 2009 with the scope of the promotion of knowledge, stimulation of research and implementation of technology through the development of standards for additive manufacturing technologies. As ISO/TC 261 has a worldwide membership involving individuals from academia, industry (including machine manufacturers and end-users) and government. F42 hosts a current roster of over 330 stakeholders from 22 countries, including 50 members from eleven European Member States, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The committee has approved 11 standards to date, and has an additional 20 in various stages of development. The standards define terminology, measure the performance of different production processes, ensure the quality of the end products, and specify calibration procedures for additive manufacturing machines.
IPR ORGANISATIONS AND TOOLS
The World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, is a forum for Intellectual Property services, policy, information and cooperation, with the aim of the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
The European IPR helpdesk is the official IP service initiative of the European Commission providing free-of-charge, first-line advice and information on Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The service is targeted at researchers and European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in EU-funded collaborative research projects. In addition, it addresses SMEs involved in international technology transfer processes. Main services offer are:
- Helpline: operated by a team of IP experts. It offers tailor-made advice on individual IP and IPR questions, and provides written answers within three working days. The team also assesses and revises IP related issues within contracts and other agreements such as licensing or distribution agreements, joint ownership and consortium agreements.
- Training: joint or individual on site and on-line (web-based) training regarding IP in H2020 or in business.
- Informative material: Various available publications such as guides, fact sheets or case studies that provide useful information and practical guidance on how to tackle IP issues in business or during an EU-funded collaborative research project.
This portal is managed by the European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), with policy guidance provided by the EC’s Enterprise & Industry Directorate-General. Currently, it brings together and connects National Intellectual Property Offices from 30 European countries. It aims to streamline IP services for SMEs provided by the individual national offices in order to offer an improved IP service portfolio for them.
The Cost Calculator tool available in this portal gives an insight on the costs of examination and maintenance of the rights. It does not take into account the costs corresponding to the preparation nor the defense of the rights.
Patent information centres (PATLIB)
Supported by the European Patent Office (EPO) provides local access to patent information and practical assistance on different types of IPRs. They are familiar with the local industrial, economic and business landscape, and provide valuable services to entrepreneurs, SMEs, private inventors and students. There are over 300 patent information centres spread regionally across the EPO's member states.The services offer can include:
- Technology and competitor watches
- Patent statistics
- Advice on patent strategy
- Patent valuation/audits
- Guidance on commercialisation/technology transfer.
BUSINESS, INDUSTRIAL EXPLOITATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Enterprise Network Europe (ENE)
This network, with more than 600 partners in more than 50 countries, helps small companiesmake the most out of business opportunities in the EU44. Its role is to increase the competitiveness and innovation capacity of European SMEs by means of helping to expand new markets and sup-porting innovation. It is a one-stop-shop for all business needs and provides free-of-charge support on access to market information, overcoming legal obstacles, and identifying potential business partners across Europe. It is a two-way communication channel between the Commission and the SME community. Main services offer are:
- Technology transfer
- Access to finance
- Advice on EU law and standards
- Advice on IPRs.
- Research funding
Invest Europe is a non-profit organisation, representing Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors. In addition to the investment of capital, Invest Europe also provides expertise in order to support members deliver strong and sustainable growth. They have a long-term approach to invest in privately held companies, from start-ups to established firms.
InnovFin – EU Finance for innovators
is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and European investment fund (EIF)) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020. In-novFin consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise. It is available across all eligible sectors under Horizon 2020, in EU Member States and Associated Countries.
Advisory services offer are:
- Strategic planning ; Business modelling
- Capital structure, debt and risk allocation
- Classic or innovative financial instruments
- Funding sources and their eligibility criteria
- Management of stakeholders
European Business Network (EBN)
EBN supports the development of growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. It consists of around 150 quality-certified and offers a community of professionals whose day-to-day work helps businesses to grow in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way. Its core services consists of:
EU|BIC Services: A “certification & benchmarking system” for technology-based incubators & accelerators (more about this in a later section).
International Hub: An international networking platform for intermediaries and an international soft-landing business platform for Start-ups, SMEs and Entrepreneurs
Projects Lab: An efficient “EU-funded projects” collaborative factory where new project are being developed for the benefit of members
Networking as a Service: A community online as well as offline, where best practice along with success stories and knowledge is shared. Some interest groups have also been estab-lished.
Events & Exchange Forum: EBN runs an international congress as well as an annual policy event linking members with opportunities. TechCamps enable members to share effective tools and techniques and showcase useful resources
EU Gateway - An unquestioned reputation within European Government circles (EC, EP, EIB, ESA), National/Regional Public Authorities, and non-EU agencies
Open Innovation: EBN develops new tools for startups to corporate cooperation in the area of IP
More info: http://ebn.be/
Business Innovation Centres- BICs
The European Business Network, EBN, has set up BICs in Europe to support start-ups. A EU|BIC's core mission is to accelerate innovative entrepreneurship at the local level, through the customised delivery of a comprehensive range of professional support and incubation services (pre-incubation, incubation, post-incubation) targeted at innovative start-ups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and SMEs. A EU|BIC's value chain is classically described as follows: “stimulate, detect, assess, select, incubate, mentor, cluster, accelerate, internationalise”.
BICs also acts like an intermediary between start-ups and big companies. On the one hand, the BICs can provide the big companies with the most promising innovations in a specific field while at the same time protecting the start-ups with regards to IPR issues.
The Startup Europe is an initiative of European Commission. The team works for entrepreneurs to be more connected within the European ecosystem. They believe Europe’s growth is going to be determined by startups, and they want to support their grow. It is based in four pillars:
- Connecting people through an array of networks, such as investors, accelerators, female entrepreneurs, corporate networks and universities to grow business and give them voice to have influence on new policies. They can also help find right combination of finance throughout EU, find high skilled employers and work across borders.
- Connecting ecosystem : supporting regional initiatives
- Helping startups to soft-land in other markets such as Silicon Valley, India…
- Celebrating entrepreneurs’ success (Techallstars and Europioneers)