The International Energy Agency and the European Patent Office (EPO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation with the aim of promoting innovation in sustainable energy technologies. Under the MoU, the two organisations will publish a series of joint studies over the next three years to inform policymakers and the public about technology trends in areas that are critical for the energy transition and climate change mitigation.
The EPO and IEA published their first joint report, Innovation in batteries and electricity storage, last week, revealing that over the past decade, patenting activity in these technologies grew four times faster than the average of all technologies. It also highlighted that much more technological progress in electricity storage will be needed in future to meet the demands of the energy transition.
“Tracking energy innovation is crucial to ensure there are no gaps when it comes to developing and deploying the clean energy technologies that we will need to meet our energy and climate goals,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “The EPO is a world leader in this field, with its rich datasets and vast experience. The IEA is delighted to be deepening our already close cooperation with the EPO through this MoU, which will allow us to get an even better picture of where the private and public sectors are focusing their energy innovation efforts.”
“The EPO’s patent classification scheme for climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies has become a widely-used standard for monitoring progress in green technologies around the world,” said EPO President António Campinos. “Drawing on the IEA’s unparalleled expertise in the field of energy enables us to go one step further. I am convinced that our co-operation will help innovators in the sector get ahead of the technology curve. It will provide decision-makers with high-quality data and analysis on innovative solutions to meeting the clean energy needs of industry and society as a whole.”
Cooperation between the two organisations will benefit from their combined expertise in the domains of energy technology and patent information. The large respective stakeholder communities that both the EPO and IEA have built up during almost 50 years of activity will significantly increase the impact of the joint studies.
Innovation is increasingly recognised as a core part of energy policy, and this year the IEA has been introducing more tools to help decision-makers understand the technology landscape and their role in it – and to track progress in innovation and the deployment of technologies. This includes a comprehensive interactive guide to the market readiness of more than 400 clean energy technologies.