Support for SMEs and Research Centers in their Industrial Property Initiatives

The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) has launched an initiative that makes it possible for SMEs and research centers, either individually or collectively, to benefit from technical and financial support to develop and implement their industrial property strategy.

Individual Assistance

A convention signed between ANVAR, the innovation promotion agency, and INPI, responsible for protecting innovation, provides for the introduction of four types of individual assistance available to VSEs (very small enterprises) and SMEs. Each type of assistance is tailored to the extent of the company's grasp of industrial property or to its level of technological development, ranging from initiation all the way to in-depth reflection on the use of industrial property in corporate strategy.

1 - Industrial property pre-diagnosis

Industrial property pre-diagnosis makes it possible, on the basis of an inventory, to conduct an evaluation of the industrial property challenges facing the company. It takes a day and a half at the most, and can be conducted by INPI experts or external consultants.

2 - Industrial property network technology service (NTS)

The industrial property NTS covers a number of areas, ranging from a strategic analysis of the company in terms of its industrial property policy to the conduct of diagnostic work on an innovation project.

Intervention lasting from four to five days is covered financially up to 75 per cent (ceiling 5,000€).

3 - Network technology service (NTS) - first-level patenting

The first-level patenting NTS helps the company to arrange initial patent protection in France.

The service, which takes four or five days, is covered financially up to 75 per cent (ceiling 5,000€).

4 - Strategic diagnosis

Strategic diagnosis allows the company to place industrial property at the heart of its strategy through reflection in depth.

This diagnosis, which can take from ten to 15 days, is covered financially up to 80 per cent (20,000 €).

The above assistance, which is financed by INPI, is publicized on technology development networks and by ANVAR.

Group assistance

INPI supports local moves to provide training in and promote awareness of the implications of industrial property for the benefit of SMEs, founders of businesses and research centers as well as individual researchers and students, by means of bilateral partnership agreements.

All the structures for supporting the economic and technological development of companies qualify for INPI backing: chambers of commerce and industry and chambers of trade, but also universities, research promotion agencies, incubators, regional centers of technical development, etc.

The INPI contribution is on the one hand financial: it can give its support to the program up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the expenditure incurred, and the project may qualify for financial support from other backers (local or territorial communities, State, etc.).

The Institute also lends support in the form of technical services, such as anticipation searching (patents or trademarks) and the supply of CD-ROM collections, but also in the form of methodological support, including preliminary help with training and the provision of trainers.

The action supported by INPI may be very diverse in nature:

- arrangements for conferences, training programs, workshops;
- company shadowing;
- industrial property diagnosis;
- development of teaching materials, communication tools, etc.

In order to bring this action into play, in either a collective or an individual context, INPI has set up the Fonds régional de diffusion de la propriété industrielle (regional industrial property promotion fund or FRDPI), the purpose of which is to support and integrate local initiatives.

Since 2001, more than 30 training, awareness and support programs and initiatives have been supported with financial participation from INPI, representing an amount of nearly a million euros.

The aim, in terms of individual assistance, is to reach out to 300 to 400 companies a year.

Regional Action Department
Training Unit
97 boulevard Carnot
59040 Lille Cedex
Tel. 03 28 36 33 93
Fax 03 28 36 33 29
e-mail :