EPO and IRENA enhance cooperation on patent information about renewable energy technologies

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the EPO have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation to promote innovation in the field of renewable energy technologies. The agreement enhances the co-operation between the two bodies.

“This MoU is intended to provide a framework for long-term collaboration between the EPO and IRENA with the objective of continuously improving access to and the dissemination of technical knowledge on renewable energy technologies,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli.

IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin said, “innovation in renewable energy is playing a critical role in driving the energy transition. Tracking innovation with comprehensive and reliable patent information is essential for analysing trends and identifying priority areas of action for innovation. IRENA’s cooperation with EPO contributes to a better understanding of renewable energy market needs and where innovative technologies can potentially be scaled-up to accelerate the global energy transition.”

The agreement was signed by the EPO President and by IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin on 23 April. Under the three year agreement, the EPO and IRENA will work together to develop further evidence-based research on the innovation and dissemination of renewable energy technologies.

The two organisations have been co-operating since 2015, when IRENA launched the International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE. This platform enables users to search patent information delivering reports on patent trends for different renewable energy technologies by country or patent applicant. INSPIRE uses the EPO’s PATSTAT data and the Y02 classification, which is the most detailed renewable energy categorisation available in patents.

Policy brief on the development and deployment of CCMTs

As an outcome of the co-operation, the EPO and IRENA have produced a policy brief to provide evidence on the latest trends in CCMT innovation and dissemination with a focus on renewable energy technologies. The brief contains six key messages for decision-makers:

  • The number and commercial value of CCMT inventions are growing globally
  • Most inventions take place in the energy sector, with renewables driving the growth
  • The integration of ICTs into renewable energy technologies remains a key challenge
  • Climate policy is a main driver of innovation in CCMTs
  • Inventive activity in CCMTs is mainly concentrated in a few regions of the world but diversity of inventor countries is growing
  • Patents support the deployment of CCMTs

The purpose of this policy brief is to encourage an informed debate on climate technology. The empirical findings contained in the report use the most recent data sources available. The majority of the statistics are based on patent information which is in the public domain, freely accessible and represents a solid and powerful indicator of technological and economic developments in CCMTs


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.

About the EPO

With nearly 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO’s centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 42 countries, covering a market of around 700 million people. The EPO is also the world’s leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

Source: European Patent Office (EPO)