The tender spans six lots including strategy, media, online and film production. The final roster could involve between one and six agencies, with an initial year-long contract potentially extendable by another four years.
Oswald Schröder, the EPO’s principal director of comms, explained: "Our mission statement is to promote innovation and competitiveness in Europe. We’re a knowledge economy and if you want to stay competitive globally you need to train youngsters and draw the attention of CEOs to the importance of things like intellectual property."The tender is the latest step in a three-year process to develop external comms that began with the arrival of president Benoît Battistelli, Schröder explained.
This has included tie-ins with major international media titles such as the Financial Times, with which EPO now produces both printed and online material.One immediate priority is marking the 40th anniversary of the EPO and tying it in with the annual European Inventor Awards.
"We’ve developed this activity in a short period of time, and now we need someone who can help co-ordinate these efforts and help us tell bigger stories," Schröder added.
He pointed to areas of strength for the region, such as in renewable power technology, but added that in sectors like biotech more needed to be done to remain competitive.
"While Europe is one of the big regions in the world in terms of innovation and we are good at present, we see it as part of our challenge to maintain its future and create an atmosphere favourable to innovation."
Last year the EPO hired event agency Vok Dams and design agency Set One as part of efforts to develop content.