Funding totalling £666,000 has been awarded to nine UK projects in industries such as horticulture, sport, education, healthcare and games, by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) as part of the 2014 Fast Forward Competition, the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) announced on Thursday.
The winners will each receive funding of between £40,000 and £99,000 from the IPO, which works within BIS and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.
Royal Botanic Garden will receive funding for its Horticulture Micropropogation Services, designed to help small plant breeders to source affordable and flexible services to develop new plant varieties.
A project that the University of Abertay Dundee is working on, Investing in Digital Assets, will be funded to help game developers to identify and value their intellectual property.
University of Stirling will get funding for its Sports innovation challenge, which will link in with the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup to give entrepreneurial students the opportunity to come up with the best ideas for sports companies, which will be supported by the university.
The University of Oxford has won funding for its project, Encouraging IP uptake for SMEs, which will support a new scheme offered by Oxford Isis Innovation that will enable small and medium businesses to create new intellectual property.
Plymouth University’s project, App Challenge Model, will receive funding to help demonstrate how charities can manage software applications and create health apps.
University of Dundee will be given funding for its Technology Accelerator Program, which is designed to bring together students, university staff, industry and SMEs to investigate the commercial potential of platform technology.
Nottingham Trent University’s Nottingham Creative IP Project will get funding to help provide businesses and students in the creative industries with a better understanding of how to protect IPs.
Cardiff University is working on a project called Health Technology Challenge, which will receive funding to help increase innovation in the NHS to find solutions for healthcare practitioners to deliver better care for patients.
Lancaster University has won funding for its Philanthropic crowd-funding of IP through the ‘valley of death’ project, to develop a new model that will overcome the stalling of inventions between academic research and industrial application by trialling internet-based public crowd-funding to support patented medical research.
Lord Younger, the Minister for Intellectual Property, commented:
“The UK is a nation of inventors, and each year we see cases of successful businesses that have turned their innovative ideas into products and services for the UK and international markets. Our world-class universities are a key driver of this innovation and we should always look to find new ways of working with them to better support businesses and drive economic growth.
“This is why I am so pleased to see so many innovative applications to the Fast Forward competition. The competition this year was tough. I would like to congratulate this year’s winners on their success and I will follow their progress with interest.”