Project results and intellectual property in Horizon Europe

Most Horizon Europe projects are aimed at generating new knowledge or expanding existing knowledge. This often involves the collaboration of several project partners (beneficiaries). It is therefore essential to regulate the ownership rights of the individual partners and to comply with all provisions applicable to exploitation and dissemination, protection, access rights to and transfer of the project results.


Presentations & Documents:


The Work Programme might contain rules additionally or deviating to the Grant Agreement (GA)!


Access rights to background and project results

The beneficiaries must specify the background (= data, know-how,  information held by the beneficiaries before they entered the GA AND that are needed to implement the project or exploit the results) as well as eventual access rights to them in writing.

The beneficiaries must give each other access rights (= rights to use background/results of other beneficiaries if necessary) to the agreed background and results (= all results of the project and related rights) needed to implement their own project tasks (these access rights must be granted on a royalty-free basis) or to exploit their own project results (these access rights must be granted under 'fair and reasonable conditions').

These access rights must also be granted to affiliated entities (under 'fair and reasonable conditions') if such background/results is/are needed to disseminate the results generated by the affiliated beneficiary.

Requests for access rights to results may be made up to 1 year after the end of the project (unless agreed otherwise).

Purpose Access Rights to Background Access Rights to Results
for project implementation royalty-free, unless agreed otherwise before acceeding to the GA royalty-free
for exploitation of results fair and reasonable conditions fair and reasonable conditions

For more information see:

Intellectual property of project results

In principle, project results belong to the beneficiary who generated them.

Project results may however also be generated jointly by several beneficiaries. In this case all beneficiaries involved in generating the results automatically have joint ownership if it is not possible to

  • establish the respective contribution OR
  • separate the results for the purpose of obtaining their protection.

The joint owners must specify the provisions for exercising their joint ownership in writing in a 'Joint Ownership Agreement'. They may also agree on an alternative to joint ownership (e.g. transfer of sole ownership to one of the joint owners).

Unless otherwise agreed, each joint owner may grant non-exclusive licences to third parties, provided that the other joint owners are given:

  • at least 45 days advance notice AND
  • fair and reasonable compensation.

A "Results Ownership List" must be enclosed in the final report to the EU Commission, which states the owners and their ownership.

For more information see:

Protection of project results

Each beneficiary must adequately protect its results for an appropriate period and with appropriate territorial coverage if protecting them is possible and justified under the circumstances at hand. In this context, all relevant considerations, including possible commercial exploitation, legitimate interests of the beneficiaries, have to be taken into account.

Eventual costs incurred in obtaining protection of project results are eligible for funding in accordance with the provisions of Article 6.2.C.3 of the GA.

For more information see:

Exploitation of project results

Each beneficiary must take relevant measures, either direct (= by the owner) or indirect (= by transfer or licensing), to exploit the project results. This obligation remains in force for the duration of the project and up to four years after the end of the project.

If no exploitation of key results took place until 1 year after the end of the project, the "Horizon Results Platform" of the European Commission must be used.

For more information see:

Dissemination of project results

The beneficiaries must disclose their project results as soon as possible, unless this adversely affects protection measures, security obligations or legitimate interests.

Beneficiaries intending to disseminate project results must give at least 15 days advance notice to the other beneficiaries (unless agreed otherwise). This notice must include sufficient information on the results concerned.

The other beneficiaries may object within 15 days of receiving notification (unless agreed otherwise) if they can show that the disclosure would significantly adversely affect their legitimate interests.

For more information see:

Transfer of project results

Each beneficiary may transfer ownership of its results.

The beneficiary must ensure, however, that the new owners also comply with the relevant obligations of the GA.

Beneficiaries intending to transfer their ownership of project results must give at least 45 days advance notice to beneficiaries holding access rights to these results (unless otherwise agreed). This notification must include sufficient information on the new owners.

These beneficiaries may object within 30 days of receiving notification (unless agreed otherwise) if they can show that the transfer of ownership would adversely affect their access rights.

For more information see:


T 0043577554008
Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA
Mag. Tamara-Katharina MITISKA
T 0043577554009
Robert WOREL
Robert WOREL
T 0043577554611