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The EPO held the PATLIB2023 conference in Tallinn on 11 and 12 May. Organised in co-operation with the Estonian Patent Office, the hybrid event was attended onsite and online by more than 1 600 participants from 75 countries. In addition, the proceedings of the opening day were streamed on EPO social media channels, attracting a further 2 000 viewers.
In his welcome address, EPO President António Campinos emphasized the importance of the event in the light of the success of the PATLIB 2.0 project, which is soon to conclude. He highlighted the key achievements of the project, starting with the initial steps towards the digital transformation of the network, which will have a significant impact on its reach and effectiveness.
He went on to talk about the upskilling of the network in the area of technology transfer, including thanks to a technology transfer accreditation training programme, supported by the European Patent Academy. President Campinos also acknowledged the robust collaborations maintained with various innovation and technology transfer networks in Europe and beyond.
Last but not least, he greeted the progress made with the Knowledge Transfer to Africa initiative to foster innovation and technology transfer at 18 African universities, soon to be extended to 60 universities across the African continent. "Considering these achievements, we can be proud when we say that together we have digitised, professionalised, harmonised and even internationalised our network", the President concluded.
President Campinos also announced the continued support of the EPO in taking the network into the next phase of the EPO's Strategic Plan to 2028 and invited all conference participants to participate in the public consultation by 15 May.
The conference kick-started with a keynote presentation on the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse will have on innovation and intellectual property (IP). This was followed by a lively panel discussion on AI and IP. Further presentations and discussions reflected the outstanding achievements of the PATLIB network. There were in-depth updates on work with network partners as well as the benefits of collaboration with African universities and promoting innovation and technology transfer.
Finally, Margus Viher, Director General of the Estonian Patent Office, wrapped up the event by underlining how everyone present in person in Tallinn and all those attending online from all over world had increased not only their level of knowledge, but also their level of happiness, by joining the first ever hybrid PATLIB conference.