University of Gdańsk leader amongst Polish inventors
The University of Gdańsk was the third most active centre to register inventions at the European Patent Office in 2017. As reported by the European Patent Office, Polish patent activity was predominantly driven by research and academic centres. The very high place taken by the University of Gdańsk is the result of its extensive activity to enhance cooperation between science and the economy and thus strengthen the University’s position amongst innovation leaders. The annual EPO conference was held in Brussels on 7 March 2018.
According to the annual report published by the European Patent Office (EPO), the number of patent applications submitted in 2017 to the EPO by Polish inventors, companies and research institutes has risen by 14%, which, as regards the rate of the number of applications, places Poland in the top position in Europe and well above the EU average. Last year Poles submitted 469 patent applications to the EPO (in 2016 – 411). What is interesting is that the number of patents granted to Polish researchers and companies has risen even more, by as much as 20% (in 2017 Polish inventors were granted a record number of 216 European patents, the total in 2016 being 180).
The Polish ranking of leaders submitting inventions to the EPO is topped by the company Synthos with 12 patent applications. However, in contrast to most European countries, in 2017 Polish patent activity was driven by universities and research institutes, which constituted four of the seven largest applicants. The second most active Polish applicant at the EPO (with 7 applications) was the Jagiellonian University, followed by the producer of Flaris planes (6 applications), the University of Gdańsk (6), the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (6) and the Medical University of Warsaw (5).
In 2017 the University of Gdańsk filed a total of 14 invention applications ─ 8 with the Polish Patent Office and 6 with the European Patent Office, mainly in the area of medical technologies. These included:
- a test related to the monitoring of psoriasis treatment;
- a molecular test for detecting the DNA of the pathogens carried, amongst others, by ticks;
- medical application of a plant substance to produce medication which slows down Huntington disease;
- an immunogenic vaccine against HCV and/or HBV virus;
- a method to detect variants of genetic barcodes to track cells, tissues or organisms
- a method to increase the efficacy of radiotherapy and reduce the side effects in cancer therapy by means of sensitisers (so-called photosensitisers).
“Success in the field of innovation or the implementation of projects, solutions or inventions may be achieved thanks to cooperation between universities, the economy, local authorities and organisations which support science and business. It is essential to create a joint area where experience may be exchanged and, most importantly, places where researchers may engage in interdisciplinary research. We are striving for the University of Gdańsk to be such a place and our efforts continue to be successful. Our researchers are being assisted by the Technology Transfer Centre established at the University of Gdańsk, which manages the intellectual property created at the university and coordinates the process of patent applications” said Prof. Jerzy Gwizdała, Rector of the University of Gdańsk.
International patent applications increase the chances for the commercialisation of research and development results not only in Poland but also abroad. At the same time, however, they are several times more expensive than inventions protected only within the country. For this reason, some of the UG’s 2017 European applications were co-financed as part of the Innovation Incubator+ project implemented by the University of Gdańsk Technology Transfer Centre in a consortium with the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Medical University of Gdańsk and the Gdańsk University of Technology’s special purpose vehicle Excento.
“The joint start of the three largest Pomeranian universities in the Innovation Incubator+ programme and the related activities have allowed us to intensify inter-university cooperation and to strengthen the competitiveness of Pomeranian research centres in the implementation of innovations”, added Prof. Jerzy Gwizdała.
As reported by the EPO, the number of all European patent applications filed with the European Patent Office in 2017 amounted to nearly 166,000, which resulted in a 4% rise when compared with 2016 and established a new record. Once again, a significant rise in applications from China was recorded as it overtook Switzerland and for the first time made the top five of the most active countries (the United States, Germany, Japan, France and China). Similar to last year, the majority of patent applications concerned the field of medical technologies, digital communications and computer technologies.
Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office, concluded that, when it came to patents, the year 2017 was positive for Europe and that the growing demand for European patents proved the attractiveness of Europe as a leading market in technologies.
Dr Beata Czechowska-Derkacz, University of Gdańsk spokesperson
Inventions filed with the EPO (regional phase) in 2017 by the University of Gdańsk:
Method for identification of response of a patient with psoriasis disease to treatment with genistein, molecular test and application of gene expressions for the in vitro detection of psoriasis
Co-authors: Grzegorz Węgrzyn; Magdalena Gabig-Cimińska; Joanna Jakóbkiewicz-Banecka; Marta Moskot; Elwira Smolińska (UG’s Faculty of Biology); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk and the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Immunogenic vaccine against HCV and/or HBV virus
Co-authors: Katarzyn Grzyb; Anna Czarnota (Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG & MUG); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk
The medical use of 5,7-dihydroxy-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopiran-4-one in the therapy of Huntington disease and pharmaceutically acceptable form of the drug
Co-authors: Grzegorz Węgrzyn; Aleksandra Hać; Sylwia Barańska; Karolina Pierzynowska (UG’s Faculty of Biology); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk
A method using iPLEX and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to detect variants of genetic barcodes and its application
Co-authors: Agnieszka Bernat-Wojtowska; Pierre Savatier (Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG & MUG); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk
Looped UVEx type probes, primers and a way of tick-transmitted pathogens’ detection and use thereof in optimized PCR reaction in order to identify an amplified genetic material
Co-authors: Grzegorz Węgrzyn; Bożena Nejman-Faleńczyk; Sylwia Bloch (UG’s Faculty of Biology); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk
A method of synthesis of 5‑selenocyanatouracil
Co-authors: Janusz Rak; Marta Sosnowska; Samanta Makurat; Lidia Chomicz-Mańka (UG’s Faculty of Chemistry); applying/authorised unit: University of Gdańsk.