The European Patent System and the high quality patents granted by the EPO have helped support a vibrant innovation sector that has contributed to European economic prosperity for years. Co-operation within Europe and outside has been a contributing factor to that success. Working closely with our network of partners, we will continue to be the global standard in patent documentation, by ensuring that the data is complete and that users are able to access it in a simple manner. The European Patent Academy plays a vital role in ensuring that users of the European patent system have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate effectively. We will enhance its capabilities in education and training activities. Courses will be made more attractive and relevant to different stakeholders with a special focus on professionals. Within the European Patent Network, we will make our co-operation on intellectual property more effective with clearly defined projects focussing on IT solutions, enhancing knowledge and work sharing. In close consultation with member states we will develop a new catalogue of co-operation projects. This will help create a stronger European Patent Network that will allow us to encourage further harmonisation and convergence of practice internationally. The four pillars of this programme will include projects to improve IT infrastructure, enhance co-operation for knowledge and quality, foster work-sharing and lastly promote the convergence of patent offices’ practices. We will broaden the European patent system. Its attractiveness is enhanced by its geographic coverage, we will therefore continue our strive for extension and validation agreements as well as reinforced partnership programmes with countries beyond the European Patent Convention. With our co-operation efforts we aim at bringing about the harmonisation and simplification of patent procedures for users around the world.