Cardiff STEM leaders offer expert advice on tackling the skills gap

By Raspberry Jim,

Innovative thinking and dynamic partnerships between STEM leaders and educators are the key to reversing a “catastrophic” shortfall of over 200,000 scientific workers a year, according to Cardiff’s business leaders.

Experts from Sony UK Technology Centre, scientific educational charity Techniquest, and intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP, are speaking out to mark British Science Week from March 8th to the 17th.

They are sharing their views after a report from Engineering UK showed that 203,000 people with higher engineering skills will be needed across the sector annually to meet demand until 2024.

In a bid to tackle this issue, the three Cardiff STEM leaders, whose businesses are at the forefront of driving innovation across the engineering, science, and technology sectors, are offering their advice to bridge the skills gap.

Sony UK TEC

Wales’s leading manufacturing facility Sony UK Technology Centre is considered a global innovator when it comes to engineering excellence.

With Sony UK TEC blending both practical and educational elements into its work with schools, Director of Professional Services Gerald Kelly believes that a combination of both is the solution to solving the growing skills shortfall.

The Pencoed facility, which produces high specification broadcast cameras for worldwide distribution, is renowned for being at the forefront of technological progression, and driving innovation across the manufacturing industry.

The Welsh site has not only developed a global reputation for producing leading technology such as the 4K camera, Nimway, and Raspberry Pi, but it is also renowned for ensuring digital literacy is widely accessible for a new generation of budding scientists.

As such, the facility runs an in-house Digital competency programme, which sees Sony UK TEC work with schools across Wales to provide access to media and broadcast technology.  It also runs a Learn2Code workshop, which encourages pupils to write their own code and learn about how technology is embedded into manufacturing.

With Sony UK TEC blending both practical and educational elements into its work with schools, Director of Professional Services Gerald Kelly believes that a combination of both is the solution to solving the growing skills shortfall.

He said: “Here at Sony UK TEC we firmly believe that it is not enough, or fair for industry to rely solely on education to deliver what is needed in terms of STEM.

“So we engage with schools and the Curriculum for Wales ourselves, and deliver bespoke programmes which are both fun, and inspire curiosity among pupils, while delivering vital technology knowledge.

“I think it’s this equal blend of the practical and the educational which will ultimately drive pupils to consider STEM careers and consequently tackle the much-publicised skills shortfall in the future.

“We believe that introducing STEM through a more interactive manner will undeniably encourage pupils to reconsider STEM roles, and explore the vast variety of careers available to them throughout the industry.

“It’s fundamental that manufacturers work with schools to expose children to rewarding and enriching roles as part of their curriculum, in order to peak their interest from a younger age.

“Most importantly we believe that it is vital that children are able to easily access and learn about coding, which is undeniably shaping the future of not just manufacturing, but the future of industries globally.”

Techniquest

As Wales’s leading science discovery centre, Techniquest has also seamlessly combined innovative STEM engagement with educational learning for over 30 years.

Techniquest’s Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Kirkpatrick, believes it is at a fundamental educational level that the nationwide STEM skills shortage can be curbed.

The popular centre, which is based in the bay, recognises the importance of promoting rewarding STEM careers and engagement through an interactive blend of unique scientific exhibits, shows and talks, along with educational outreach at hundreds of schools across Wales.

And Techniquest’s dedication to advancing STEM skills and making science more accessible, is set to get a significant boost after a £5.7 million expansion plan, which will see the centre increase in size by over 60% , was given the go ahead.

With this in mind, chief executive officer Lesley Kirkpatrick, believes it is at a fundamental educational level that the nationwide STEM skills shortage can be curbed.

She said: “As a charity which believes passionately in the ability of STEM skills to transform career potential, we have been heavily involved in discussions surrounding the predicted shortfall and how this can be reversed.

“It is incredibly concerning from a number of perspectives, as the STEM industry and its continued innovation plays such a vital role in the nation’s economic success. Equally, the lack of skilled workers could lead to declining levels of technological development across the UK in the coming years, and a lack of STEM uptake could see thousands of students miss out on their true professional potential.

“From our perspective it appears that the shortfall can be tackled at a fundamental educational level, by encouraging schools, universities, and science centres, such as ourselves, to work collaboratively to promote rewarding STEM careers and their diversity at all stages of learning.

“By forging dynamic working relationships, which highlight the significant benefits and exciting prospects afforded through STEM, we believe that we can embed scientific engagement into early learning and create a spark for STEM throughout Wales.

“To highlight this we have worked diligently with schools to develop and deliver an education programme that enhances and enriches the STEM curriculum and enthuses and excites pupils from Foundation phase to A level.

“We believe collaboration is key to not only curbing the shortage, but reinvigorating the sector in the years to come.”

Wynne Jones IP

Intellectual property may not be the first profession you consider when discussing STEM.

But with chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering graduates all choosing the industry, it’s evident that scientific skills are not just relevant, but essential to success in this profession.


Dr Nation believes that diversifying STEM career options and assessing business needs is crucial to attracting talent and tackling the STEM skills shortage.

Many STEM graduates may feel limited in their career options if the laboratory or research isn’t for them, however intellectual property gives them a chance to diversify and think outside the box to protect the trademarks, patents, and designs of products and companies worldwide.

Wynne Jones IP, which has offices in Cardiff, Cheltenham, London, and Telford, specialises in advising across all areas of intellectual property, with a particular focus on the STEM sector.

And when it comes to attracting STEM graduates and supporting them to achieve their potential, the firm is ahead of the curve.

It has established its own highly successful four-year training academy, which educates and shapes trainees into well-rounded, industry leading attorneys. This has seen success year on year, and commercial director Dr Jayne Nation believes it offers an exciting alternative for those looking to pursue STEM careers.

Dr Nation believes that diversifying STEM career options and assessing business needs is crucial to attracting talent and tackling the STEM skills shortage.

She said: “STEM careers not only allow you to achieve something truly worthwhile personally, they enable you to make a profound difference to vast industries and potentially change the lives of millions of people worldwide.

“It is for this reason that the STEM skills shortage is incredibly concerning and could prove to be catastrophic if it is not addressed quickly.

“From my perspective there are a number of ideas which could tackle this. Developing business and education task forces in major, strategically targeted tech sectors, could identify current business technology needs and skills that aren’t being met and which are in great demand. This could anticipate future business requirements and tech trends to ensure people have the relevant skills.

“Intervention at an educational level is also vital, and as such establishing combined academic and vocational training packages for students over 18 could really provide a boost.

“These could cover both academic training in STEM, alongside tech training within a job, that will directly fill the UK priority skills gaps. If they were run as a joint programme, combining academic and vocational learning, they could become a training experience of prestige that is sought after.

“It could also be beneficial to look at reward and remuneration of STEM jobs in key areas where there are big skill gaps. Businesses could offer bursaries, enhanced salaries and other rewards to attract people into these STEM roles in targeted sectors.”

New partner appointed to leading firm Wynne-Jones IP

By Raspberry Jim,

Leading Cardiff-based intellectual property firm Wynne-Jones IP has appointed a senior member of its team to a prestigious role within the firm.

Patent attorney Elliott Davies has been promoted to the role of partner following continued success within the business.

A specialist in invention protection relating to a wide range of technologies and electronics, Dr Davies has been responsible for drafting and prosecuting worldwide patent applications for a variety of national and international clients. The new partner also assists the senior board in decision making and business development. He regularly delivers lectures on intellectual property issues and assists the UK Patent Office with masterclasses.

As part of his new role, his responsibilities will include supporting the board to deliver the Wynne Jones vision by inspiring and leading staff to contribute and deliver against the growth strategy. He will also oversee the work of patent attorneys and paralegals within the firm.

Dr Davies joined the team of specialists at Wynne-Jones IP in Cardiff in 2012 and has worked with notable clients such as SPTS Technologies, Invacare and Addis.

Discussing his promotion, Dr Davies said: “I’m absolutely delighted to begin my new duties as a partner for the company. I’m honoured to have been selected as the firm’s next partner and look forward to helping my fellow partners achieve our organisational goals.”Jayne Nation, commercial director at Wynne-Jones IP said: “Promoting Elliott and welcoming him to our team of partners was a natural decision.

“With his significant experience, helpful approach with clients and his own engagement with our team, we’re thrilled to now call him one of our partners. We’re confident he will be instrumental in helping our firm to thrive as we move forward.

“We would like to congratulate him and wish him the best on his continued journey with us.”

Wynne-Jones IP is a firm of Intellectual Property specialists that have been based in Cardiff, Telford and Cheltenham for over fifty years. The firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of patents, trademarks, design rights and copyright.

IP experts support Welsh tech leaders at annual awards

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Intellectual property experts in Cardiff are supporting the next generation of technology leaders through this year’s Wales Technology Awards.

Leading firm Wynne Jones IP is among the sponsors at this year’s event, which will be taking place in Cardiff City Hall in May.

The awards celebrate the invaluable contributions of over 3,000 businesses and over 40,000 people who are driving success and innovation across the Welsh technology sector.

The event has been organised by ESTnet, a network of technology organisations whose members design, develop, manufacture or integrate electronic and software technologies.

Last year over 370 ESTnet members attended the annual awards at the Wales Millennium Centre, with internationally renowned manufacturing facility Sony UK Technology Centre, based in Pencoed, named as headline sponsor. This year the headline partner for the event will be Welsh fintech company GoCompare.

Sponsoring the Product Innovation category this year will be Wynne Jones IP, which advises on all aspects of IP rights, strategy and renewals.

Jayne Nation, commercial director at the firm with offices in Cardiff, London, Cheltenham and Telford, said it was a pleasure to be supporting the growth of Wales’s flourishing technology sector.

She said: “As an intellectual property firm which prides itself on working with businesses across Wales, we are delighted to be supporting this year’s Wales Technology Awards.

“These awards showcase the inspirational and progressive work that businesses and individuals across Wales are undertaking in a bid to further technological understanding and drive progress across the industry.

“Through our role at this year’s awards, we hope to highlight the essential function that intellectual property plays in supporting product development, ensuring that businesses and individuals can continue to be innovative across Wales

“We’d like to wish all those entering this year’s awards the very best of luck.”

The Wales Technology Awards is set to take place at Cardiff City Hall on May 3, with nominations now open.

Wynne-Jones IP is a UK firm of intellectual property specialists, with offices in Cardiff, London, Cheltenham and Telford. Trading for over fifty years, the firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of IP rights, strategy and renewals.

What is Open Innovation and what does it mean for businesses?

By Raspberry Jim,

 

Recently, growing attention has been devoted to the concept of Open Innovation, both in academia as well as in industry. Here, Matthew Veale, Senior Trainee Patent Attorney at Wynne-Jones IP covers what Open Innovation is and what it means for you and your intellectual property rights.

What is Open Innovation?
Open Innovation is the development of innovative solutions made on the basis of collaboration between a number of parties. It has the advantages of shortening the time to innovate, sharing risks, and reducing costs.

Open Innovation offers a different model to the historical closed model where the entire innovative process is carried out internally by companies, often in secret.

There have been misconceptions that Open Innovation and owning Intellectual Property Rights are mutually exclusive, when in reality they positively complement each other. Open Innovation is a term used to promote innovating with collaborators by ‘sharing risk and sharing reward’ – the problem is caused by what the term ‘sharing’ means.

An example of headline Open Innovation initiatives is when Tesla decided to open up their patent portfolio to the world – the move has been subject of much debate. It can be argued that they have given away their greatest competitive advantage or alternatively, it can be argued that they have shortened their innovation cycle by removing the disclosure stage of discussions with potential collaborators; the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Comparison of Open and Closed Innovation

IP and Open Innovation
In the context of Open Innovation, intellectual property plays a new role, which no longer reflects the historical defensive mechanism adopted by companies.

For example, to date, companies have been using their patents to block competitors and operate on the market based on the notion of a patent as a negative right to exclude others rather than to enable innovation. Yet, on the contrary, patent protection assists companies to commercialise their solutions and safely enter into Open Innovation agreements, with limited risks of seeing their assets appropriated by their collaborators.

Indeed, patents are extremely important for the innovative process since they protect and disclose at the same time.

Open Innovation is facilitated by effective intellectual property protection. Clear ownership helps in sharing of knowledge, as collaborators are more willing to enter into transactions and agreements to exchange their inventions.

Strong intellectual property strategies are of utmost importance for small entities with very specific R&D capabilities and which require larger entities to commercialise their products. They would fail to attract collaborators and investors if lacking a robust intellectual property strategy.

Because of the nature of Open Innovation, efficient intellectual property management is essential for the success of the project. Sharing knowledge, technology and expertise between collaborators is an enormous benefit that could nevertheless entail a risk of loss of such assets and free-riding, if not managed effectively.

Accordingly, a co-development of activities carried out in an Open Innovation environment requires a clear agreement on ownership of any resultant IP, particularly where parties to the development have no previously registered IP in the relevant activity.

Are you considering entering into Open Innovation?

Questions you should ask yourself:

  • What will happen to my concept?
  • How can I protect my products if I do not fully own the IP rights?
  • How can I protect my trade secrets and know-how from being lost within such a process?
  • What is happening to my position in the long run by sharing or licencing my IP rights?

If you are considering engaging in Open Innovation, you will need to assess the impact of your decisions now and in the future. Such arrangements can be very rewarding, but you should also remember to protect yourself.

To speak to Wynne-Jones IP about Open Innovation, or any other IP-related issue, email Victor Caddy at victor.caddy@wynne-jones.com or call 01242 267600.

Welsh IP firm among top sponsors at CoInnovate 2018

By Raspberry Jim,

Leading intellectual property firm Wynne Jones IP is among the top sponsors at a prestigious Cardiff event championing worldwide technological innovation.

The firm is “thrilled” to be supporting the annual CoInnovate 2018 conference, which encourages industry-leading collaboration between established and developing innovators in the technology sector.

Wynne Jones IP, which advises businesses on all aspects of patents, trade marks, design rights and copyright, is sponsoring the IP Management Expert Corner at the event at Mercure Holland House Hotel on January 24.

They will be joining sponsors including European Regional Development Fund, The University of Manchester Intellectual Property Limited, Innovate UK, and Endeavr.

Commercial director at Wynne Jones IP, Jayne Nation, said it was a privilege to be supporting this international event which has the potential to create unparalleled technological advancements.

She said: “Wynne Jones IP is thrilled to be sponsoring the IP Management Expert Corner at this year’s CoInnovate event.

“We are delighted to be able to support an event, which plays such a vital role in bringing together some of the world’s leading innovators with the aim of driving technological change.

“One aspect of innovation that we, as patent attorneys, feel is vital in supporting the development of any innovation is intellectual property.

“With that in mind, we will be on hand to provide expert advice to participants during the event, to ensure they are able to grow and enhance their products with maximum effect.”

Wynne-Jones IP is a UK firm of intellectual property specialists, with offices in Cardiff, London, Cheltenham and Telford. Trading for over fifty years, the firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of IP rights, strategy and renewals.

Cardiff IP experts smash Headway fundraising target

By Raspberry Jim,

Generous intellectual property experts have raised over £2,000 in the last year for people fighting to rebuild their lives after a traumatic brain injury.

Staff at Wynne Jones IP generated the funds for brain injury association Headway, after it was selected as their charity partner for 2017-2018.

Initially the firm, which advises businesses on all aspects of patents, trade marks, design rights and copyright, set a fundraising target of £1,500 over the two years.

However, thanks to the determination of staff across its Cardiff, Cheltenham, London, and Telford offices, over £2,127 has been raised to date.

Fundraising activities have included staff climbing the roof of the O2 Arena in London on June 15.

The funds will help to support the charity’s work to improve the lives of people who have suffered a brain injury, by offering support, services and information to survivors, their families and carers.

Amy Kasprzyca, Senior Marketing Executive at Wynne Jones IP, said it was a privilege to support the charity which provides priceless support to thousands of people across the UK.

Miss Kasprzyca said: “Headway is a charity which has made such a vast difference to the lives of thousands of people who have sadly suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“Not only does it offer invaluable support to those directly affected to help them rebuild their lives, it also guides their families through a potentially challenging time, and even offers advice and information to professionals in support services and legal fields to ensure the continued care of survivors across the UK.

“It has been a pleasure to raise vital funds for Headway’s fantastic work this year. Our staff have united behind this cause and we hope that the money raised will enable them to continue their amazing work.”

Wynne Jones IP will continue to fundraise in 2018 for Headway with events being organised throughout the year.

Miss Kasprzyca added: “Our team are more than ready to throw themselves into fundraising once again this year, and we look forward to raising as much as possible for Headway in 2018.”

 

UK trade mark filings increase is ‘insurance’ over EU uncertainty say Cardiff IP experts

By Raspberry Jim,

Uncertainty over the future of EU trade marks following Brexit has sparked a surge in the number of UK application filings, a leading Cardiff intellectual property specialist has reported.

Wynne Jones IP said that, since the June referendum, clients who file trade mark applications in the EU, are also now filing separate UK applications, even though EU ones still cover the UK.

Also, many are refiling their entire EU trade mark portfolios at the UK Intellectual Property Office.

This comes in the light of uncertainty as to the status of EU trade marks once the UK leaves the European Union.

The IP experts said figures showed UK trade mark application filings were up 33% in August 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

The same month also saw applications for UK registered designs soar by 95% more than August 2015.

Trade mark attorney and partner, Victor Caddy, from the Cardiff intellectual property specialist said: “Businesses hate uncertainty, and so with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, they are understandably looking for ways to minimise  the risk of problems downstream when the UK leaves the EU.

“The full implications of the UK leaving the EU are not yet clear for intellectual property rights such as trade marks and designs.

“It is important to remember that EU registered trade marks and designs are still in force in the UK, but what businesses are looking for is some kind of insurance policy over what might happen in the future.

“Although some kind of process for dividing EU trade marks into separate EU and UK ones is highly likely in due course, we do not know what it will entail, what risks will be associated with it, when it will be available, or how much it will cost.

By filing UK applications now, businesses can remove all that uncertainty and invest in their brands with confidence.

“Wynne-Jones IP encourages those with EU trade marks and designs to review their portfolios, any agreements with third parties, and the geographical scope of their usage and to seek advice in the lead up to Brexit to safeguard intellectual property rights

Wynne-Jones IP is a firm of Intellectual Property specialists that have been based in Cardiff, Telford and Cheltenham for over fifty years. The firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of patents, trademarks, design rights and copyright.