PROvendis FAQs

PROvendis is the central service provider for intellectual property (IP) and property rights for the universities of North Rhine-Westphalia. 28 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: 36

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 Energy (BMWi) and the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MWIDE).

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 19 innovation managers 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.

Our innovation managers all have a scientific qualification, most have a doctorate and many years of professional experience in industry and technology transfer.

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 5,600 invention disclosures have been received since PROvendis was founded.

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 here or 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 is one of the qualified WIPANO service providers of the German government and therefore also advises small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as start-ups. All information on the WIPANO funding program is available here.

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