PROvendis is the central service provider for intellectual property (IP) and property rights for the universities of North Rhine-Westphalia. 29 universities in NRW are shareholders of PROvendis GmbH. PROvendis supports approximately 30,000 patent-relevant scientists and is one of the largest service providers for IP management and technology transfer in Europe. In addition to the universities in NRW, PROvendis provides services for universities outside NRW, non-university research institutions and companies.

Foundation: October 2001
Head office: Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Staff: 43

Together, 29 universities in the state of North Rhine Westphalia and PROvendis GmbH form the NRW Hochschul-IP association. The Association for Intellectual Property (IP) of the NRW universities promotes the professional transfer of knowledge and technology to industry and society. The University of Münster has been commissioned to act as the network coordinator together with PROvendis. The network is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The funding body is the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy.

The members of NRW Hochschul-IP are listed here.

All services for staff of association members are listed here

All qualification and training opportunities for association members are listed here


As part of the NRW Hochschul-IP association, universities offer consulting services for technology transfer through PROvendis GmbH to companies and start-ups. PROvendis uses an association sub-project,, to refer expertise and scientific cooperation partners from NRW universities to companies. The goal is more intensive collaboration between universities and companies and demand-oriented transfer of knowledge and technology.

You can find more information about the project here.

PROvendis is owned by the universities in North Rhine-Westphalia. These commission PROvendis as the central service provider for the evaluation, protection and marketing of Intellectual Property (IP). We evaluate results from research and development with the aim of protecting newly created intellectual property and exploiting it profitably. We analyze the market, search for potential licensees and conduct contract negotiations.

  1. Tracking down ideas and technologies that are eligible for intellectual property protection in universities.
  2. Assessing research results for intellectual property potential and economic exploitability.
  3. Securing the intellectual property rights of research results.
  4. Marketing research results to companies.
  5. Targeted development of individual marketing strategies for universities.
  6. Access to professionally protected new technologies and research results for companies.
  7. Transfer of know-how in the field of industrial property rights and intellectual property (IP).

PROvendis' funding is composed of the services invoiced and a share of the proceeds generated from the sale. The universities in NRW receive partial funding for the services provided by PROvendis as part of a joint project between the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

An important prerequisite for our work in the field of intellectual property rights exploitation is that we have the expertise required to cover the various specialist areas and industries. We have 21 managers for patents & licenses with many years of experience who come from almost all scientific fields, including biology, medicine and pharmaceutics as well as chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, energy and physics. Additionally, PROvendis employs staff in the areas of law, public relations and administration.

The figures for inventions and applications for industrial property rights are generally subject to fluctuations, making it difficult to provide quantitative information.

PROvendis receives approximately 300 invention disclosures from NRW universities every year. On the recommendation of PROvendis, over 40% of these are commissioned as priority patent applications for the universities of the state of NRW. Our actions are based on a variety of strategies. In most cases, the registration is carried out with the aim of generating license revenues. However, patents are also applied for to support the acquisition of third-party funding or for reasons of reputation, or due to a contractual obligation of a third-party-funded project.

In addition, the focus of exploitation is not only on licensing revenues, but also on technology transfer through cooperation between industry and universities in the form of joint research and development projects.

More than 7,000 invention disclosures have been received since PROvendis was founded.

Research results that can be marketed and protected include not only technical inventions and processes, but also software, algorithms, two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs, brands, texts, concepts, brochures, books, expertise, and trade secrets. Copyright and the German Business Secret Protection Act, as well as patents, utility models, and trademark and design applications, play a role in such protection. PROvendis offers services and consulting across the entire intellectual property (IP) spectrum.

We are generally bound to confidentiality with regard to the data processed by us and the income generated. We therefore provide only limited information on property rights, exploitation successes and, in particular, income. Please contact the respective university in NRW directly with specific questions.

A detailed overview of the individual steps can be seen in this flyer.

There are different methods for calculating the value of an invention or an industrial property right. In addition to market size and the potential benefits of an invention, the degree of maturity of the invention and the development effort still required play a decisive role in determining the price. Knowledge of the relevant IP landscape, the relevant markets and comparable transactions is particularly important for determining the value of university inventions at an early stage of development.

PROvendis offers consulting services on protecting and leveraging intellectual property for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups as well. If you are interested, feel free to contact us.

The project allows us to offer companies and start-ups free consulting services for referring expertise and scientific cooperation partners from NRW universities. You can find more information here.

You can find other services in the area of IP management here

Yes, in principle all companies, universities and research institutions can make use of the services of PROvendis. For further information please contact us.

The current list of seminars offered for all target groups and an overview of all content for continuing education measures can be found here.

As needed, PROvendis also organizes individual workshops and in-house training measures. If you are interested, feel free to contact us.

The free e-learning course „IP-Führerschein“ (German only) also provides an online entry point for the issue of intellectual property rights. Online courses about individual intellectual property rights can be completed with a certificate.