Wednesday 25 September 2019

Building an Enterprise Ecosystem on Anglesey

The Atrium, Menai Science Park
© 2019 Jane Elizabeth Lambert: all rights reserved

Jane Lambert

Why are places like Silicon Valley, Tech City or indeed Silicon Fen special?  They are where some of the world's most successful high tech companies have been launched.  The entrepreneurs who launched those companies were attracted to those areas by great research universities, the local availability of specialist professional advice and angel and private equity funding and a pleasant working environment.

Nobody who has visited Northwest Wales will dispute that it is one of the most beautiful corners of the planet combining outstanding coastal, mountain and pastoral scenery.  There can be no better place in which to live, work and bring up a family.  There is a fine research university at Bangor that is particularly strong in product design and ocean sciences. The Menai Science Park (M-SParc) on Anglesey is one of its initiatives and the FabLab and entertainment complex at the Pontio Centre is another.  Though it is still very small the Pitch Perfect events in March and June attracted a few equity investors several of whom live nearby. What the region lacks is a full range of intellectual property services in its vicinity. The nearest patent and trade mark attorneys are in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. The nearest ones in Wales are in Chepstow and Cardiff.

It was to fill this lacuna that I chaired World IP Day at M-SParc which turned out to be Wales's contribution to World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April 2019.  We built on the success of that day last Friday with an even larger seminar which included contributions from Jonty Gordon of Amgen Law, Sean Thomas of Thomas Harrison IP,  Steve Livingston of IP Tax Solutions, Andera Knox of Knox Commercial and Ian Wishart of Sybaris Legal & IP.  Jonty spoke about registered trade marks and passing off, Sean discussed patents, Steve mentioned tax incentives such as the patent box, Andrea gave us plenty of tips about business structures and contracts such as shareholders' agreements and Ian outlined the IP insurance products that are now available. 

It turned out to be a very stimulating afternoon and we received some nice comments on social media. The Hub tweeted:
The science park's managing director, Pryderi ap Rhisiart, posted the following on Linkedin:

We also received a lovely thank you email from Emily Roberts who coordinated the two seminars.

After the workshop, we held some informal one-to-ones with the delegates to discuss their immediate issues.   We identified the need for ongoing support for entrepreneurs, investors, lenders and others in the region and agreed to form a loose association through Facebook and Linkedin which anyone can join.  We also thought business people in the area will require focused discussion on such topics as searching and confidentiality.   Maybe these can be organized locally on a monthly or some other regular basis.

We look forward to working together to assist the inventors, designers, artists, authors and other creative, enterprising and innovative individuals of Northwest Wales. Should anyone wish to discuss this article, call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact page,

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