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Column - Intellectual property in the interest of patients

Deploying artificial intelligence to identify the risks of heart conditions even earlier. Using nano-techniques, medicines can be administered exactly where they are needed, while the patient is still lying in the ambulance. These are just a few examples of the innovative scientific research in which the Dutch Heart Foundation invests millions of euros every year. However, not every researcher thinks about protecting intellectual property beforehand. The Dutch Heart Foundation does, and it is assisted by consultants from V.O. There are two important reasons for this.

Firstly, the Dutch Heart Foundation can only finance research up to the initial stages of large-scale trials. Commercial partners and large investments are then usually required to further develop the research results. By making sound agreements on intellectual property right from the start of a collaboration, commercial parties can work faster on solutions that work well but are also safe and accessible to patients.

The second reason has everything to do with the role of the Dutch Heart Foundation in society. For each euro we spend on combatting heart and vascular diseases, someone has walked from door to door in the rain. Or they have performed a sporting activity. Or they have gifted it to us through a will. When an innovation co-financed by us is a success, then we would like to see that every euro contributed by our donors and sponsors can be re-invested in research.

Intellectual property certainly contributes to the best realisation of our social mission, namely to identify heart and vascular diseases at the earliest possible stage and to offer treatment to as many people as possible. Intellectual property gives us opportunities to accelerate the application of research results. This is in the interest of researchers, financers and commercial parties that work with us. However, above all it is in the interest of patients.

Floris Italianer,
Director of the Dutch Heart Foundation


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