31 / 07 / 2020

EARTO Paper – Towards a Balanced Approach Between IPRs and Open Science Policy

The role of Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) is essential to fulfil Europe’s ambitions such as boosting its economic competitiveness and prosperity, building resilience and technology sovereignty in strategic value chains, or mastering the twin transitions towards a green and digital society. To reach those objectives in the current context of fierce global competition, ensuring the right framework conditions to stimulate knowledge and technology co-creation in Europe and prevent unwanted regulatory barriers hampering European innovation capacity has never been more essential.   Europe now needs to strike the right balance between the social benefits of the EU Open Science (OS) policy to enhance the accessibility and re-use of RD&I results on the one hand, and the essential role of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to strengthen the collaborative development of knowledge and technology while fostering industry’s uptake of RD&I results on the other. To that end, EARTO hereby puts forward a set of recommendations to promote a balanced approach between IPRs and Open Science policy in Europe:  
  • Recommendation 1: Ensure a stable and robust EU Regulatory and Policy framework recognising IP’s crucial role in fostering knowledge co-creation, which is essential to boost technology development and industry’s uptake of innovation, for high socio-economic impact. This can be done by: (1) raising awareness of the value of IPR in EU RD&I ecosystems; (2) promoting the efficient exploitation of RD&I results by fostering a balanced and flexible IP policy; (3) simplifying the IPR clauses in Horizon Europe; (4) recognising the importance of Standards and their complementarity with patents; (5) improving the regulatory framework for RD&I public procurements in Europe.
  • Recommendation 2: Foster a balanced approach between Open Science and IP policies in Europe. The concepts of Open Science and Open Innovation based on IPR should be promoted hand in hand. By ensuring that RD&I partners can capture part of the value created in common, Open Innovation enables to connect the fruits of Open Science to their efficient commercialisation in the market. This can be done by: (1) putting the emphasis of the EU OS policy on the availability and dissemination of knowledge rather than on the absence of pricing; (2) focusing the EU OS policy on scientific publication and digital research data; (3) aligning the EU data sharing policy on the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”; (4) mainstreaming the use of data management plans; (5) organising trainings for researchers on OS policy and IPR framework; and (6) adopting a balanced approach towards Open Source software.
  EARTO remains at the disposal of the EU institutions to further discuss these recommendations and support the set-up of a balanced approach between Open Science and IPR policies in Europe.   Read the full EARTO paper