Friday, 27 January 2017

SCI-Tech Daresbury

Jane Lambert

Earlier this week the Prime Minister launched the Building our Industrial Strategy green paper which I discussed in "Harnessing the Potential of the UK's Home Grown Inventors" - The Government's Proposed Industrial Strategy 24 Jan 2017 Inventors Club, Implementing the Industrial Strategy: IPO seeks new Business Support Policy Adviser 25 Jan 2017 and Nesta's Inventor Prize 26 Jan 2017 IP Yorkshire. The launch took place immediately after a cabinet meeting at Sci-Tech Daresbury, a science and innovation campus just off the M56 (see Prime Minister launches Industrial Strategy plans at Sci-Tech Daresbury 23 Jan 2017.

I was in Daresbury this morning for the first breakfast meeting of the New Year.  This event attracts about 100 hi-tech entrepreneurs, companies, universities, business support agencies, private equity and angel investors, patent and trade mark attorneys and lawyers from across North West England and beyond. The event takes place between 08:00 and 09:30 after which there is usually a talk on a topic of interest to the business community.

Today's talk was entitled Exporting is Great – and you can do it! by Charles Jacobson, International Trade Advisor at the Department for International Trade. The Department for International Trade is a new department set up by the present Prince Minister under Dr Liam Fox MP when she entered office last year. Before the Department was set up, Charles worked for UKTI. When I spoke to him briefly after his talk, he told me that the Department had left all the previous teams and structures in place.

Although most of the talk was on practical measures such as finding out how to get to the town centre from the airport before leaving the country and some useful websites to consult when carrying out desk research, Charles began with a table ranking countries by the number of patent applications in 2011. China was at the top followed by the USA and Japan. We were bottom of the list. I am not sure of the point he was making but the caption under his slides was that there is a world of ideas out there. True, but the overwhelming majority of them occur abroad and not here.

I have been coming to the Daresbury breakfast meetings and the talks afterwards for several years and can thoroughly recommend them. The next event at the centre is a Biomedical and Chemicals Business Pitching Event on 16 Feb 2017. Future events include a North West University Fair on the 23 March and breakfast meetings on 17 March, 28 April, 28 May, 22 Sept, 20 Oct, 17 Nov and 8 Dec 2017.

Anybody who wants to attend those events regularly should join the Network Hub by registering online.

If anyone wants to talk about this article or business or legal support for high-tech startups in the North West generally. give me a call during office hours on 0161 850 0080 or 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Implementing the Industrial Strategy: IPO seeks new Business Support Policy Adviser

Jane Lambert

In "Harnessing the Potential of the UK's Home Grown Inventors" - The Government's Proposed Industrial Strategy 24 Jan 2017 I discussed the government's industrial strategy green paper Building our Industrial Strategy and in particular its "Investing in science, research and innovation" pillar and its new commitment to "harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user led innovation."

In order to implement this new commitment, the government promised to "place Intellectual Property Office representatives in key UK cities - starting with pilots in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to build local capability to commercialise intellectual property." Advertisements have already appeared on the IPO website for 2 Business Support Policy Advisors in Birmingham and Manchester:
"Both posts will work across their respective regions to:
  • build and develop IP capability
  • ensure that IP is integrated into business and innovation support programmes at a local level
The post holder will join the IPO’s Business Support Policy team and work within the region to develop policy that ensures innovative businesses have the confidence to maximise the value of their IP assets and make a full contribution to the UK’s economic growth."
Full particulars of the Manchester appointment appear at  IPO Ref 2121 - C1 IPO North West Business Support Policy Advisor on the Civil Service jobs website. The post carries a salary of £35,542 - £39,585 and the successful candidate will be based at the Business Growth Hub at Churchgate House on Oxford Street. The closing date for applications is 3 Feb 2017.

The green paper also announced a challenge prize programme to be piloted through the NESTA Challenge Prize Centre which is intended to help inform the government's support to the ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ operating in companies and at home." In its press release Government launches Industrial Strategy green paper, Nesta comments 23 Jan 2017 NESTA's CEO, Geoff Mulgan, said:
"Nesta is particularly excited about the commitment to a pilot ‘Inventor Prize’ to be run with our Challenge Prize Centre. It will seek to harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user led innovation."
Announcing the Inventor Prize 24 Jan 2017 NESTA explained:
"We’re working with BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to pilot an ‘inventor’ prize that will inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user-led innovation."
Having started and chaired for many years the Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield Inventors Groups, having supported the Manchester one and Ideas North West and having run IP clinics throughout the North for meany years I welcome this government's commitment to harnessing home-grown invention and innovation and will do all I can to support it

One of the ways in which I can do that is through the Inventors Club through which we shall try to offer a wide range of services.  I can help with advice on intellectual property ("IP") and, in particular, with patents (see also my Patents FAQ and IP Glossary). To help inventors, entrepreneurs, their investors and professional advisors throughout the North West and the rest of the country I have expanded and improved my IP service (see Immediate IP First Aid Nationwide 25 Jan 2017.

If you have a new product and are wondering how best to protect it, if you are thinking of launching a new business and are thinking of registering a trade mark, if you have received a solicitor's letter accusing you of infringing someone's copyright, design, patent or trade mark, if you think someone is infringing one of your IP rights or you have any legal question relating to branding, design, technology or creative works, call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.