A CSIC technology recycles fiberglass for use in wind turbines. / Pixabay

The Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) leads one more year international patent applications in Spain, as collected the 2019 Patent Index of the European Patent Office, published today. Some of those patents are very advanced, such as a pencil device that detects meningitis in babies; a technology that recycles fiberglass for use in wind turbines; new image sensors and enzymes developed à la carte

With 34 requests, the CSIC tops the ranking, followed by the Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation (26), Telefónica (23), the pharmaceutical Esteve (20), Dalphi Metal (19), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (14), ICFO – Institute of Photonic Sciences (12) and Repsol (11). Academic institutions contribute significantly to applications, as demonstrated by four of the top eight applicants being scientific or research organizations.

Angela Ribeiro, deputy vice president of Knowledge Transfer at the CSIC, he assures: “Behind these patents, like the entire CSIC portfolio of protected technologies, there is a lot of science of excellence. Not surprisingly, the CSIC is among the top 25 research institutions in a ranking that assesses a total of 6,459 institutions around the world, both public and private, including universities. ”

For Javier Etxabe, Head of the Unit for the Promotion of Results and Promotion of Technology-Based Companies of the Deputy Vice Presidency for Knowledge Transfer of the CSIC, “The importance of CSIC as an engine for generating quality R&D is shown in the patent indicators of national and international patent offices.”

Etxabe adds: “The CSIC is committed to a powerful technological portfolio that continues to include mostly patents, which does justice to the quality knowledge generated at the institution and which increases the possibilities of licensing companies and the creation of technology-based companies with the improvement of the capacity of Spanish companies ”.

Innovative potential

Last year, the European Patent Office recognized the innovative potential of CSIC in recognition of its most illustrious scientist, the biochemist Margarita Salas, who collected the 2019 European Inventor Award in Vienna in the Lifetime achievement category a few months before his death. Salas (1938-2019), a researcher at the CSIC at the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology, discovered the Bacteriophage virus phi29 DNA polymerase, which has a crucial application in biotechnology: it allows DNA to be amplified simply and quickly. Therefore it is used in forensic medicine, oncology and archeology, among other areas. This technology has also been one of the CSIC’s most profitable patents.

“2019 was an important year for the CSIC, for this recognition of Margaret Salas. A few months later, this brilliant researcher of international prestige, inventor of one of the most profitable patents in the CSIC. We can find many more examples throughout this year that reveal how CSIC technologies permeate our lives. They are Spanish inventions with a lot of science ”, highlights Ribeiro.

Some of those new European patents granted to CSIC in 2019 they are at an advanced level of development or even on the market. For example, a pencil device that detects meningitis in babies, designed by the technology-based company New Born Solutions; or a new technology that recycles fiberglass for use in wind turbines, licensed to Bcircular; also novel image sensors manufactured by the company Photonvis; companies like EvoEnzyne, which will be responsible for the development of enzymes à la carte, as well as the technology-based company Biphasis Catalyst (Bicat), also founded last year with the aim of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide in catalysis processes to favor the hydrogen-based economy.

Within the patents applied for Europe for him CSIC There are both priority patent applications (accounting for around 30% of all priority patents in 2019) and European applications made after an international application. Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), some of which have already been licensed this year, and applied for in all areas of CSIC knowledge.

The CSIC is also at number 23 in the ranking of the 25 innovative public research centers prepared by the agency Thomson . (2017), also being the 7th governmental institution in the Scimago ranking, which quantifies scientific production.

Patent applications of Spanish origin in the European Patent Office They grew 6% in 2019 compared to the previous year, which represents an increase for the fifth consecutive year and confirms a stable upward trend.


Nature Index: CSIC, in 55th place

Nature Index Institutions Government: CSIC, in the 4th

. Top 25 Global Innovators 2017: CSIC 23rd

Scimago Index Institutions: CSIC 21º

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