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On Thursday 21 Oct 2021, the Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, the First Minister of Wales, opened AberInnovation (Aberystwyth Enterprise and Innovation Campus). I watched the ceremony over Zoom, Ben Jones wrote about the event in First Minister of Wales Officially Opens AberInnovation which was posted to AberInnovation's website on 22 Oct 2021.
I first learned about AberInnovation when I delivered a talk at IBERS (The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) entitled IP Rights relating to Waste Management and Packaging on 13 March 2019. I mentioned it in NIPC Wales, an article to mark the launch of this publication, in NIPC News on 15 March 2019. I learned a little more about the project when I revisited IBERS on 19 June 2019 to take part in "'From Plants to Bio-Based Products' Motivation and Mutual Learning Workshop in Aberystwyth". I discussed the project in Aberinnovation: Mid-Wales's New Science Park on 20 Feb 2020 when I received a copy of AberInnovation's first newsletter and mentioned it again in Completion of Aberystwyth's Science Park on Time and on Budget on 30 Aug 2020.
According to its website, AberInnovation already hosts some interesting and potentially important businesses:
- Agxio which describes itself as "an AI, data science and machine learning company that specialises in the biotech, life sciences and agricultural science industries";
- AMIGROW. "a service that aims to integrate field information, about crop condition and management practices, with high-quality satellite imagery in order to provide agricultural managers valuable insights to manage crop production and maximise crop yield";
- ARCITEKBio which commercializes a platform for the processing of agricultural waste into high-value products including xylitol a challenge to the global sweeteners market;
- BIC Innovation, a leading consultancy that I have known and with which I have occasionally collaborated for nearly 20 years;
- Biosample Hub, an online platform that connects biotech and pharma companies with hospital biobanks to support the research and development of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines;
- Cambrian Cyber Consulting, a "provider of cyber and information security consultancy expertise, with affordable service offerings for companies wishing to assess, health-check and audit cyber risk"
- CHAP, a UK Agri-Tech Centre that brings together leading scientists, farmers, advisors, innovators and businesses to understand industry challenges, drive research and innovation and develop and trial solutions that transform crop systems;
- Cydweithio, Welsh for "Collaboration", brings together a selected set of primarily Welsh small businesses specialising in electronics and software and offers their products and services to the market;
- EISA Tea Co., an ethical and sustainable tea business that aims to inspire informed change in consumer habits;
- LeafCann which is on a "mission is to advance the re-introduction of plant-based extracts in medicine and nutrition through conducting and supporting product and industry research and development, clinical trials, commercial production and GMP manufacturing:
- PhytoQuest innovates "natural ingredients and compounds in the high-margin healthy-living products emerging from the convergence of food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics";
- PlantSea aims to replace environmentally damaging petroleum-based plastics with sustainable and biodegradable alternatives;
- Reselan, "a process development and implementation company, with the purpose of improving environmental and economic performance of businesses and other organizations;"
- Shire Meadery aims to create unique light meads with a focus on delicate flavours and drinkability;
- Starfish Labs on a mission to design and build apps that improve people's lives, that is to say, "apps for living – mobile and web apps for training, education, healthcare, tourism and to support people with learning difficulties and disabilities, and for our ageing population;"
- Techion, "a full-stack information company, integrating several modes of technology (hardware, software and data) to deliver solutions for complex disease problems;"
- Terravesta which describes itself as "the world-leading energy crop supply chain specialist, producing sustainable energy from marginal land using miscanthus;
- Watercress Research Ltd, a "phytochemical research company developing natural solutions to medical conditions;"
- Yma, which means "here" in Welsh, aims "to create the conditions where primary care in Wales thrives now and for future generations;"
- "ZipFarming is concerned with the research, development and commercialisation of AI-led ecosystem and farm services that when combined with satellite location, can enable payment or credit services to farmers;" and
- ZipMobility which "enables intelligent mobility services for UK agriculture and also off-road rural supply-chains in the developing world. "
AberInnovation has also staged a wide range of events ranging from agritech to R & D tax credits and it publishes a very interesting blog.
These are very exciting developments and I should like to help promote the project, its tenants, members and wider community if I can. Over the last three years, I have given talks and held pro bono intellectual property clinics at M-SParc, the Menai Science Park at Gaerwen. I have helped to arrange and chaired M-SParc's contributions to World Intellectual Property Day in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Students and faculty from Bangor University law school have attended at least one of these events (see IP Database Searches and Understanding Specifications 30 Nov 2019). I kept in contact via Zoom all through the pandemic speaking to the markers group Ffiws and Gogledd Creadigol. On 11 Nov 2021, I shall chair a seminar on IP for scale-ups which will be streamed live over the internet and may well be of use to AberInnovation, its tenants, members and community, It would be great to do the same sort of thing in Aberystwyth.
Anyone wishing to discuss this article may contact me on 020 7404 5252 during normal UK business hours or send me a message through my contact form at other times.