Tuesday, 28 December 2021

World IP Day: IP and Youth

Source WIPO YouTube Licence Standard YouTube Licence


On 26 April of every year, the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") celebrates the anniversary of its establishment with a worldwide festival of innovation and creativity.  Since 2019 the Menai Science Park ("M-SParc") has contributed greatly towards the celebrations that have taken place in Wales. Every year the international celebrations focus on a specified theme.  The WIPO has just announced that the theme for World Intellectual Property Day in 2022 will be IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.

That is a theme that resonates with M-SParc because it is one of a number of initiatives to reverse a century of migration of some of Northwest Wales's best and brightest to other parts of the United Kingdom and indeed other parts of the world.  The arts and sciences have always been valued in the region as is evidenced by the contributions of quarrymen and other working people towards the foundation of what is now Bangor University in the late 19th century (see  The Times 20 Oct 1884) but the business and employment opportunities for the region's graduates have until now been limited.

Promising opportunities are opening for young people and an important part of M-SParc's mission is to bring those opportunities to the attention of local college students and schoolchildren. One of the ways in which it does that is through the Young Dynamos Programme with its resources for 5 to 12-year-olds and 13 years plus and Club Sparci.

Yesterday I brought the announcement of this year's theme for World IP Day 2022 to the attention of Pryderi ap Rhisiart, the Managing Director of M-SParc, and Emily Roberts, Operations and Customer Service Manager:

I replied that we could do all those things and referred Pryderi to an article on teaching IP to the young in the TES Magazine.   Emily also tweeted that it would be great to involve the Young Dynamos in this year's World IP Day.

These are very early days but one idea that I shall contribute is focusing on Wales's contribution to space technology.   I discussed that topic yesterday in The Space Industry in Wales.  My interest in science was sparked by the launch of Sputnik in 1957, Gagarin's first space flight in 1961 and later NASA's Apollo programme.  Over those years I read every book and article on science and particularly space on which I could lay my hands.  Just a few miles from the science park there is a remarkable company that is developing a satellite launch capability from a high altitude helium balloon.   If that technology can capture the imagination of this septuagenarian think how much more it will inspire generations of young men and women and children.

Any ideas on M-SParc's contribution to this year's World IP Day celebrations from any quarter will be very welcome but we should particularly like to hear from kids in Northwest Wales and their teachers.  You can call me during business hours on 020 7404 5252 or send me your suggestions through my contact form.

Monday, 27 December 2021

The Space Industry in Wales

Satellite Image of Wales
Author NASALicdence Public domain Source Wikimedia Commons

 














Jane Lambert

On Boxing Day 2021, The Observer published an article by Robin McKie entitled The Great British Race to Space.   It featured efforts by companies operating in different parts of the United Kingdom using different technologies to launch the first satellite into low earth orbit from British soil.  One of those companies is B2Space Ltd. which plans to launch a satellite bearing rocket from a high altitude helium balloon.  B2Space appears to be based in Newport and operates in Eyrri in Northwest Wales.

B2Space is just one of a growing number of space businesses in Wales.   Space Wales maintains a "Capability Matrix" of businesses in the sector.  Linking those businesses to resources in the universities, government and international agencies, Space Wales is developing a strategy for the sector.  According to the organizers of the UK Space Conference at Newport, Wales saw a 34% increase in the number of organizations and a 40% increase in employment in that sector between 2015 and 2019 albeit from an admittedly small base (see The Space Sector in Wales is growing).

The legislation that has made this growth possible has been the Space Industry Act 2018 which I discussed in Commercial Exploitation of Space: Space Industry Act 2018 on 10 April 2018.  I outlined the licensing regime in Space Industry - Licensing Spaceports the next day.  The new technologies developed by the Welsh space industry will require legal protection and I discussed those issues in The Role of Intellectual Property in Space Commerce on 19 July 2019 in NIPC Cornwall.  Although I had in mind the businesses that have mushroomed around Newquay airport in Cornwall the issues mentioned in the article apply equally to the businesses around Llanbedr and elsewhere in Wales.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.