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29 September 2023Lisa Langsdorf

Guido Paola takes us on a “journey” to fulfill QDNL’s Intellectual Property ambitions

Guido Paola recently joined Quantum Delta NL as the IP-portfolio Manager. Guido’s job is to be a bridge between the researchers developing Quantum intellectual property in NL and the broader Quantum ecosystem and investment community. Here, Guido talks to us about his desire to take researchers on a “journey” where we work together to fill critical gaps in Quantum technology.

Hello Guido, please introduce yourself and tell us about your background.

I’m a Patent Attorney with deep experience in the electronics engineering and technology field. I began working in Finland and the Netherlands many years ago for different technology research organizations. Here, I made the switch from technical work to patent work at a patent law firm in Eindhoven where I became qualified as an EU Patent Attorney. My previous job was as an in-house patent counsel and as an interim Director of the European Patent Group in Dolby Laboratories. 

I am originally from Italy, but I have lived in Romania, Finland, and Ireland. Since 2000, I have called Nijmegen, The Netherlands, my home. I like traveling both for leisure and work and practicing sports such as swimming, mountain biking, football, and, if time allows, sailing. My wife is Spanish and we have two daughters both born in Nijmegen. As a multicultural family, we enjoy the beauty and the customs of each other’s country!

Why were you brought on to join Quantum Delta and what is your role?

Quantum Delta was looking to fill a critical IP gap in its ecosystem. They have large ambitions for nurturing and developing IP now, and in the future, in terms of strategic patentable technology. It’s a hot topic internationally. Also, the concept of Quantum Delta NL (QDNL) is driven by a new strategic autonomy to build this from scratch and IP is key in this respect. My background and experience in engineering, working in semiconductor (and other industries) dovetails nicely with Quantum Delta NL’s IP strategy. The decision to hire for this role also centered around aligning QDNL’s knowledge organizations, and I have the necessary experience to align all of the stakeholders from an IP perspective.

 The overall goal is to enhance the knowledge holding in the Netherlands with the various stakeholders in QDNL’s ecosystem, especially the IP. We plan to build up very knowledgeable IP teams within the various stakeholders that are involved in research in advanced technology and lift IP from a local level to a strategic national level. It is a pioneering job that probably has not been tried anywhere else and could possibly make the advanced ecosystem in Quantum technology quite unique and perhaps set a new standard for collaboration on a national level in other countries.

How do you plan to support the Quantum Delta NL Community?

The ultimate goal is to anticipate collaboration and to set the stage to make sure that the Dutch Quantum ecosystem is in a really privileged position competitively both on the development level but also strengthen partnerships for the future.

 One of the ways we will build the system is to develop a National IP Pool. This will be a way for the group to share all of the expertise and knowledge about Quantum technology between the partners in a collaboration agreement but it’s also our showcase to the outside world, our expertise, IP, and know-how we have in the Netherlands on quantum technology. So, that should, in principle, make us a bit more attractive collaboration partner for international companies for example especially for startups that establish themselves here in our ecosystem. This is an ecosystem approach to tech IP. 

Do you have an example of how an organization outside of the ecosystem might be able to utilize your IP and collaborate?

We will set up an IP council which will be an independent advisory that looks strategically at IP issues and advises us, and the ecosystem, on how to exploit IP.  Because the whole idea is to sustainably build our ecosystem, so we can do business with outside companies or whomever, we must evaluate how we can contribute to building our ecosystem. We will not just sell our knowledge or IP, but make agreements with companies so that we will also be building up our knowledge or capabilities which is the strategic approach. We have three ambitious catalyst programs: Quantum computing, Quantum networking and Quantum sensing.  We are building technology road maps for these and, from an IP perspective, want to support these technologies developments.

What types of challenges do you think they are facing in regards to IP that you are facing today that you would like to solve?

One of the challenges we face is that Quantum computing will be a very complex and large ecosystem in terms of both technology and the people working in this field. The challenge is to bring all these great minds together in a coordinated way so that knowledge-sharing works. Today, ideas often remain with the university and there is sometimes some hesitation in the collaboration among the stakeholders due to sensitive IP. There should be incentives for the good of the national system while providing an investment opportunity for the stakeholder interest.

 Not everybody is aware of the potential of IP relevance, so we should really build this link with the university research groups because, in the end, they are also working through the challenges that we are trying to solve. We have to make this connection between what we are both doing and the larger ambitions. Currently, there are two options for university researchers: publish their results or take IP. The latter will eventually drive the technology, startups and collaborations. We’d like to align them with our goals and take them with us on our journey. 

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