Far too few small and medium-sized companies protect their ideas. This means that they risk missing out on business and export opportunities - and that society misses out on jobs and growth. With patents, companies can prove that they own the right to what they sell, and they can stop from stealing their ideas. Novo Nordisk Foundation now supports the successful patent voucher scheme from which the 2 m DKK pool was emptied in just minutes last year.
The patent voucher scheme was launched by the Danish government in 2021 and will run for 3 years. The purpose of the scheme is to strengthen the global competitiveness of Danish companies by facilitating their path to patenting their inventions.
"If small and medium-sized Danish companies are to make the most of their ideas, more need to patent their inventions. On this background, we are very pleased that we, with the Novo Nordisk Foundation's extra funds, can now ensure that more companies get their ideas protected and stand stronger in global competition to the benefit of growth and jobs in this country," says Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Simon Kollerup.
Together with the funds from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the patent voucher scheme supports SMEs with a total of DKK 5 m in 2022. "We want to strengthen the Danish ecosystem of especially small research-based entrepreneurs within life science and green tech. Patents are often an important aspect of turning innovative ideas into successful companies with value-adding solutions. This is why we support the patent voucher scheme with 2 million DKK this year," says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Experience from the first round of the scheme shows that applicants are primarily micro-companies who are not experienced in patenting. "The patentvoucher scheme was emptied in just two minutes the first time we opened for applications. It confirms that there is a great need among small companies and that they can see the value in protecting their inventions with a patent. Large Danish companies are among the leaders in Europe when it comes to patenting, but unfortunately SMEs are lagging behind. With the Novo Nordisk Foundation's support, we can help even more micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs in strengthening their business with patents," says Sune Stampe Sørensen, Director of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office.
The funds in the patent voucher scheme are divided into two pools, which open for applications on 4 April 2022 and 3 October 2022.