Sunday, 30 August 2020

Completion of Aberystwyth's Science Park on Time and on Budget


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Jane Lambert

On 24 Aug 2020, a huge replica of a key was handed to the management of the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus (Aberinnovation) at Gogerddan to mark the completion of the construction. According to Ben Jones. it was finished on time and on budget (see Jones Handover signals the completion of the new Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus 26 Aug 2020). The construction of that science park would have been noteworthy at any time but, as much of the work had to be carried out during lockdown, it is all the more remarkable.
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I first learned about the plan to build a science park when I visited Aberystwyth University's Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science ("IBERS") on 13 March 2019 to deliver a talk on Intellectual Property Rights relating to Waste Management and Sustainable Packaging at a workshop on sustainable packaging and waste that had been organized by the Beacon Biorefining Centre of Excellence.  IBERS and Beacon had been at Gogerddan for many years. IBERS has a worldwide reputation for its research in agriculture, plant breeding and related technologies while Beacon is a partnership between Aberystwyth and several other Welsh universities to commercialize research in those technologies.  The idea of the science park was to attract a cluster of science and technology-based businesses to Gogerddan that could contribute to such research as well as exploit it.  I discussed the idea of clusters when I visited IBERS for a second time on 19 June 2019 for a workshop  entitled "From Plants to Bio-Based Products The Challenges to and Opportunities for Development and Scale-up in Wales." (see Jane Lambert
"From Plants to Bio-Based Products" Motivation and Mutual Learning Workshop in Aberystwyth on 21 June 2010).

On 28 Feb 2020, the science park published its first newsletter which I blogged in Aberinnovation: Mid-Wales's New Science Park.   The newsletter discussed the progress of the construction work and its first seminars.   I learned about the completion of the project from Mr Jones's newsletter which was mentioned on Linkedin.  It appears from its website that all the science park's facilities are now open, that the first tenants have moved in, an accelerator for businesses in biosciences, healthcare, agri-tech and food and drink sectors will be launched in September and a webinar with Dr Rhian Hayward, the park's chief executive officer, will take place on 23 Sept 2020.

The inventions, new plant and seed varieties and other technologies to be developed in Gogerddan as well as the brands of the new businesses will require legal protection if they are to be exploited.  According to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys' database, there are no patent attorneys within 50 miles of Gorgoddan.  That is also true of the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) on Anglesey but over the last 2 years a number of support networks have formed to advise and assist not just the park's tenants but all other businesses in Northwest Wales (see Ecosystem 2.0 of 21 Aug 2020).  Those networks presented Wales's only contribution to World Intellectual Property Day in 2019 and 2020.  There is no reason why similar networks should not emerge around Gogerddan. If they do, I should be glad to participate in them.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article or any of the issues contained in it may call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

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