Professor Andy Hopper (pictured), who is stepping down after his one-year term as President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said that tax payers were already funding the creation of innovative IP in universities, so it was reasonable to expect more of this to made available to UK SMEs that were best positioned to commercialise it.
He continued: “Universities should be encouraged and incentivised more to kick start the development of new technologies and products by openly assigning the required IP to dynamic British businesses at minimal extra cost. In return, maybe the university could get a one or two per cent shareholding – more of a goodwill gesture than a conventional transaction. This is all perfectly possible and is happening in a number of UK universities already.”
Hopper believes this will be a big boost for SMEs that are “the engine room of the UK economy”.
He is also calling on the Government to ensure more engineers involved in decision making. In this respect, the professor, who heads up the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, said: “With the success of so much future policy based around engineering and technology, I believe that it is time for the Government to draw more on the knowledge and experience of the UK’s best engineering talent at the highest levels.”
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.