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Eco-Runner Team Delft

Eco-Runner Team Delft wants to design the first hydrogen car in one year that will be allowed on public roads in the Netherlands. This student team previously broke the distance record on one tank of hydrogen with one of their cars. They are now turning that winner’s mentality into an ambition that will benefit all of the Netherlands. That’s why V.O. has been sponsoring them since 2024. We assist the team with our knowledge and legal advice.

Sharing knowledge

“We are really striking out in a different direction in 2024 and want to lay a foundation for the future,” said Xiaodong Scherpbier, Team Manager of Eco-Runner Team Delft. “All the knowledge we’ve gained in the races since 2006, we’re using it to show that a hydrogen-powered car can be safe; that you can build a ‘street-legal’ car. We want everyone to understand why we are so fast and efficient. Sharing our knowledge with the public makes our story even stronger.”

‘We want to give the next team a boost by building knowledge about patents together with V.O. now.

Xiaodong Scherpbier – Team Manager, Eco-Runner Team Delft

Making it public

Eco-Runner wants to make an impact with their ambition. Scherpbier: “We don’t want to keep our knowledge secret, as in a competition, but rather make it public. Because by doing so, we will further fuel the development of hydrogen cars. That applies to 2024. For the following years it will be different again. That’s why we want to gather knowledge now about protecting our intellectual property.”

Understanding intellectual property

V.O. supports Eco-Runner with numerous (legal) questions. “So we don’t just talk about patent applications, but give the team insight into everything to do with intellectual property,” says Levi Verhage, trainee at V.O. “It’s great fun to work with such a driven team of students. For the team, we find out what technology is already protected. That way they don’t accidentally invent something that is already patented. And we look into contracts they make with partners, for example.” Eco-Runner is happy with that support. Scherpbier: “We don’t have that knowledge ourselves, so then it’s nice when a sponsor knows all about it.”

Open and involved

The partnership is still early days. Despite that, Tim Deutman, manager of Partnerships, already feels supported. “It’s already a very open and involved collaboration so far. We have already received help with some contracts.” Levi Verhage is the point of contact for Eco-Runner Team Delft on behalf of V.O. and especially encourages the team to make use of the expertise at V.O. “Ask anything, can knock on our door not only if you have a great invention of your own. Even if you think you only have a small question, for example about a contract. Or what about a particular patent someone else has. And if I don’t know the answer I look for someone in the organization who can help. Surely it would be great to be able to get the first hydrogen car on the road in the Netherlands!”

More about the expert

Lutz Keydel

Lutz Keydel

  • European and German Patent and Trademark Attorney, European Patent Litigator
  • Associate
Hans Bottema

Hans Bottema

  • European and Dutch Patent Attorney, European Patent Litigator
  • Partner
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