The IPR4SC Survey Results and the Analysis of Needs and Skills 2023-01-05

The survey aimed to identify the state-of-the-art situation concerning the IP-related, green and digital Skills, Knowledge and Competencies of EU inventors and entrepreneurs. This knowledge helped the IPR4SC team understand the Skill Gap between Education System and Business Needs.

While examining the results, we discovered a severe lack of knowledge on the IP and IPR topics. 62,7% of the respondents are unfamiliar with the term IPR. 29,1% have Basic and Theoretical understanding. And only 8,2% are Experienced and Knowledgeable in the field. These categories have strong associations with the project’s targeted stakeholders. 
The Unfamiliar group is represented by HEI and VET students (70% cumulatively). Respondents with Basic Knowledge mainly include Students (35%) and SMEs (35%). Finally, TTO representatives (30%), SMEs (20%) and HEI and VET professors (30%) form the Knowledgeable group.

However, their knowledge of the IPR is not always put to practical use. Up to 71% of the respondents never considered IP as an input for innovation. Only 16% believe it is relevant for their business needs and start-up ideas. The rest (13%) consider its utility as members of business-support organisations.

The survey also highlighted a problem regarding the use of IPR for the development of sustainable business models and the implementation of green and digital innovations. The issue goes deeper, not only related to IP usage. Many SMEs have difficulties recognising Business Opportunities for green (67%) and digital (57%) technology. Concerning the skill gap, students are even less prepared to engage in such practices (77-78% for both types).
Most competent are public institutions, such as TTOs. They have the best understanding of the benefits of using such technologies (green: 57% and digital 50%). Nevertheless, it still underlines the genuine illiteracy of the EU stakeholders to engage in green business models and enhance their innovation potential through IPR.
The survey provided enough evidence to consider that these two problems, i.e., the lack of business opportunity recognition and skills in IPR utilisation, create a demotivational cycle. The development of the IPR4SC training materials can solve this problem.



Tamara Besednjak Valič

Faculty Of Information Studies In Novo Mesto



Virág Szuák

Pannon Business Network Association