The "Ideas Powered for business SME Fund" is a European Commission initiative implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which consists of a €20 million grant scheme helping European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support businesses in developing their IP strategies and protecting their IP rights, at national, regional or EU level with up to €1.500 maximum reimbursement per SME.
According to European Commission's User Guide to SME Definition, The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are:
- staff headcount
- either turnover or balance sheet total
|Company category||Staff headcount||Turnover||or||Balance sheet total|
|Medium-sized||< 250||≤ € 50 m||≤ € 43 m|
|Small||< 50||≤ € 10 m||≤ € 10 m|
|Micro||< 10||≤ € 2 m||≤ € 2 m|
These ceilings apply to the figures for individual firms only. A firm that is part of a larger group may need to include staff headcount/turnover/balance sheet data from that group too.
You can apply for Service 1, Service 2 or a combination of both.
Under this scheme, Service 1 is an IP pre-diagnostic services provided or coordinated by participating national and regional IP offices and do not constitute a legal service. Unfortunately, the service is not currently offered within the framework of the SME Fund in Cyprus, but similar services may be provided in other national and regional IP offices outside the SME Fund. IP pre-diagnostic services are key to building an SME's IP strategy. Intellectual property (IP) experts will help you identify the value of your intellectual property assets. This can help you learn how to shape your IP business strategy now - and in the future.
Service 2 consists of the applications filed with the relevant local or EU authorities. You can apply for a 50% reimbursement on trademark and/or design basic application fees. The level of protection you choose (national or EU) will depend on your business strategy and your growth plans.
Only one application can be made within each window and only one application per service is allowed. If you request a service in one window, you can still apply for another service in a subsequent window. The maximum reimbursement is limited to €1,500 per applicant, irrespective of how many applications are made. Grants are awarded on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Only applications submitted within each of the five windows will be considered for the purposes of receiving a grant for the evaluation and/ or registration of Intellectual Property. The initiative started on the 11th January 2021, with the first Window closing on the 31st of January. The 4th Window closes on 31st July 2021 but, for those SMEs who cannot meet this deadline, there is one more final window of opportunity from 1st September to 31st September 2021.
You must first apply for the grant (IP voucher) and wait for the grant decision. The application must be submitted online, together with all supporting documentation to the SME Fund. After receiving the grant decision, you can apply for the services that you have indicated in the grant application form. Finally, you can apply for the corresponding reimbursement once you've paid for the required services, submit your request for reimbursement using the link given in the grant decision. You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your request.
Payment will be made within one month, subject to the approval of the information and documentation submitted
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.