TII launched its new website earlier this month with its novel star service “My Commercialization Expert” in prominent position. Restyled as the research commercialization hub, the website aims to put the focus on the innovation and commercialization support skills and services of its members and other international experts. Its ambition is to build the database into the largest international pool of innovation support and technology transfer experts which can be tapped into by clients in the research, corporate and innovation support fields.

Registration in the database is offered free of charge to TII members, while independent experts pay a modest sign-up fee of €50. At a time when voluntary associations, like TII, are under pressure to demonstrate value for money and in an era of budget cuts and a preference for the social media for professional networking, TII is taking the jump to test a new business model. For each new business assignment or project obtained thanks to My Commercialization Expert, the expert will be invited to make a donation to TII to the tune of 5% of the value of the contract up to a maximum of €500.

Come and visit us at http://www.tii.org/en/home and sign up as an expert!


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The 2017 European Innovation Scoreboard, published this month, presents a revised measurement framework to bring it into line with evolving policy priorities and to help improve the quality and timeliness of the indicators, to capture new and emerging phenomena, such as digitisation and entrepreneurship, and to provide a toolbox with contextual data which can be used to analyse structural differences between Member States. Rankings are therefore not directly comparable with previous editions.

The new scoreboard reveals that EU innovation performance continues to improve, especially in areas such as human resources, an innovation-friendly environment, own-resource investments, and attractive research systems. Sweden remains the EU innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany. Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Slovenia are in the category “Strong Innovators” with performance above or close to that of the EU average.

At the global level, the EU is less innovative than Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Performance differences with Canada and the United States have become narrower compared to 2010, but those with Japan and South Korea have increased. Japan has improved its performance more than three times as much as the EU, and South Korea has improved its performance more than four times as much as the EU. The EU maintains a performance lead over China, but this lead is decreasing rapidly with China having improved more than seven times faster than the EU. The EU’s performance lead over Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa is still considerable.

All the different reports and documents, including individual country reports, can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/innovation/facts-figures/scoreboards_en


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The innovation metrics season continues with the publication of the 2017 Global Innovation Index in which China becomes the first-ever middle income economy to be ranked in the top 25. Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US and the UK are the world’s most-innovative countries, while a group of nations including India, Kenya, and Viet Nam are outperforming their development-level peers.

In this year’s edition of the Index, 15 of the top 25 global economies are in Europe. Europe is particularly strong in human capital and research, infrastructure and business sophistication. European economies rank first in almost half the indicators composing the Index, and include knowledge-intensive employment, university/industry research collaboration, patent applications, scientific and technical articles, and quality of scientific publications.

Co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Global Innovation Index surveys 127 economies using 81 indicators from patent filings to education spending, thereby providing policy makers with a high level look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth. This 10th edition focuses on innovation in agriculture and food systems. In the coming decades, the agriculture and food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand, increased competition for limited natural resources, and the effects of climate change. Innovation is key to sustaining the productivity growth required to meet this rising demand and to helping enhance the networks (“food systems”) that integrate sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management.

The Global Innovation Index 2017 (Top 25) at a glance:

  • Switzerland (Number 1 in 2016)
  • Sweden (2)
  • Netherlands (9)
  • US (4)
  • UK (3)
  • Denmark (8)
  • Singapore (6)
  • Finland (5)
  • Germany (10)
  • Ireland (7)
  • Republic of Korea (11)
  • Luxembourg (12)
  • Iceland (13)
  • Japan (16)
  • France (18)
  • Hong Kong (China) (14)
  • Israel (21)
  • Canada (15)
  • Norway (22)
  • Austria (20)
  • New Zealand (17)
  • China (25)
  • Australia (19)
  • Czech Republic (27)
  • Estonia (24)

More reading at https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii-2017-report

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The priorities for the remaining years of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme are security, the circular and low-carbon economy, boosting international collaboration and getting the European Innovation Council up and running, according to Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission director general for research and innovation, who spoke at the Science|Business conference ‘Shaping the next Framework Programme’ on 27 June.

Read more at http://sciencebusiness.net/news/80358/Focus-will-shift-to-security-and-greening-the-economy-in-last-three-years-of-Horizon-2020

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A new business insight provided by Roger La Salle, innovation thought leader and pioneer of “Matrix Thinking”™

Talk is cheap – Talk is easy
For anyone seeking business advice and assistance whether in strategy, marketing, advertising, sales or innovation, there is one overriding metric that should underpin your purchase decision – “will it add value?”

Client endorsements – hollow words?
Many web sites, brochures and promotional banners from consulting and training firms carry endorsements from previous clients. These can and should be a powerful aid in your decision making process but beware, if such words of endorsement do not carry the person’s title, name and organisation, they are simply hollow words that are best ignored.

In our business of innovation, opportunity capture, business strategy and culture change we indeed do have powerful endorsements, naturally all are backed by names and titles. However, when it comes to delivering innovation outcomes the real bottom line and a question you should be asking iswhat innovations have resulted directly from your engagement?” This is the real question, in fact the only question. “Show me the products you have delivered, the patents lodged and products commercialised, show me the real “Value added”, then I will believe.

Read between the lines
Beware however of misleading endorsements and claims, not dishonest by design, but misleading by omission.

For example, a stunning patented breakthrough product we delivered and is now on display in an Australian Technology museum bears the tile of the “creator”. That title unwittingly misleads people to think these people were the inventors when in fact these people did nothing more than the industrial design. They simply made this amazing technology which we created, look pretty.

So too the industrial design company that is often credited with the creation of the computer mouse. In fact what they did was to turn an idea and a crude prototype conceived by others into an ergonomic saleable product, but so often we hear of them as the creators of the computer mouse. Of course this is not to detract from their design effort, but in exploring your innovation provider, make sure they are able to back their word with real tangible demonstrable outcomes and real innovators. Make sure you are dealing with doers, not talkers.

Remember the best measure we have in business is profit – plain and simple. Profit of course is the result of providing real value – the bottom line!


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The EU’s new Unified Patent Court, which is due to start operating early next year, will remain in London inspite of Brexit, although its longer term future will depend on the outcome of the divorce talks. Its role will be to settle disputes when the long-awaited EU patent finally becomes a reality next year. It took 40 years – one of the longest negotiations in the EU’s history – to formally sign into law the new unitary patent for the 24 participating member states.

Speaking at the European Inventor Award, which took place in Venice on 15 June, Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), said that the court would represent “an important step in the EU construction because, for the first time, there will be litigations among citizens”.  The court agreement will enter into force four months after thirteen member states have ratified the text, including France, Germany and the UK, the three countries with the largest number of patents.

Despite the Brexit referendum result, Britain said last November that it would be part of the EU patent framework. In late May, the British government confirmed that the UK would join the new system. The EPO expects the court to be functioning and issuing its first EU patents by early 2018. The London seat will escape an immediate relocation after Britain leaves the Union in March 2019 because it is not an EU agency. Despite the fact that the unitary patent is part of the EU rulebook, the legal basis of the court is an international agreement.

When asked why the member states did not place the litigation system under the existing EU Court of Justice, Margot Fröhlinger, principal director for unitary patent and international legal affairs at the EPO, explained that businesses and inventors did not want specialised chambers embedded in the EU court. “It was not welcomed by the users, because they wanted independent judges, with technical knowledge and a special procedure,” she explained. Neither did the EU judges have the “appetite” to create specialised chambers, she said.

She added that the legal basis of the court was an international treaty because it was sealed as an agreement between the EU and the EPO members, which include 38 countries. According to the EU Court of Justice, this was the only possible way to set up the EU patent court.


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An assessment of the first year (2015) response to the Fast Track to Innovation pilot call has been published which is for the main part very positive. The authors conclude that the pilot showed an intrinsic value from having successfully demonstrated the
feasibility of, and demand for, a bottom-up approach to promoting innovation across a wide spectrum of technologies. Their recommendations are as follows:

On the basis of the research carried in this study, we believe the FTI has shown itself to
be a useful addition to the portfolio of instruments available to Horizon 2020, and
would recommend continued support, assuming no change in the current
H2020 portfolio, despite some constraints imposed by the wider H2020 legal base.
Given the levels of demand, and confirmation that some of the concerns over the
submission and appraisal of projects can be allayed, the present budget of €100 million
per year could be increased by at least double, say €200 million per year over the
remaining three years of the current programme period. Further support after this
period would be contingent on the full evaluation of the pilot and further policy
developments with respect to the EIC and the wider use of bottom-up approaches, for
example by possible changes in the SME Instrument.

In this changed policy environment the merits of the FTI would rest more heavily on its
ability to identify and support innovations capable of significant acceleration to market
across the full spectrum of technologies, and irrespective of corporate size and
partnerships, and continuing to focus on smaller projects. Were the FTI to continue we would recommend:

  • For technological innovation, clearer guidance on the use of Technology Readiness
    Level (TRL) classification (project sponsors are unused to the TRL system) and in
    recognition of the later ‘valley of death’ a particular focus on TRL 7/8. Moves away
    from the use of TRLs especially for non-technological innovations should be replaced
    with an explicit approach to assessing market readiness;
  • A greater requirement (notwithstanding the page limit on the project application) for
    applicants to demonstrate a full business plan for reaching commercialisation within
    3 years of project start, including results from market research and some outline of
    the intended match funding in support of commercialisation;
  • A review of the competencies of experts selected for project appraisal to ensure that
    they adequately cover the commercial as well as technical aspects, and
    consideration of a specific call for experts with direct commercial experience;
  • Some further consideration of the risks and benefits of the inclusion of larger
    businesses which have the potential to introduce higher deadweight and whether
    additional information on the corporate context might be sought; investigate the
    pros and the cons of reducing the 70% funding rate for larger businesses during the
    the build-up to the successor programme to H2020;
  • Relaxing the partner requirement, to say minimum of two partners, representing at
    least two Member States and consider a more restrictive definition of partners to
    avoid delays when partners change;
  • Softening the objective of increasing the number of first time Framework
    Programme participants. Their encouragement should be facilitated by the nature
    and risk of projects being funded;
  • Continuing the assessment of the application process to better fit industry needs
    (increasing the number of cut-off points within the open call; and changes in the
    project application template).

The full report can be obtained at https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/9e7a806e-5498-11e7-a5ca-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-31287360



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