IP Education Series #7

For the final instalment in the IP Education Series [previous episodes: Intro#1, #2, #3, #4#5 and #6], it's over to Prof. Ruth Soetendorp to introduce two contributions, the first from Hannah Yates (UK Intellectual Property Office), and the second from Joe Sekhon (Portsmouth University).

Prof. Soetendorp says...

It has been a privilege to work with the Kats and the series contributors to provide a taste of the diverse IP Education approaches that exist across UK universities.  IP learning and teaching is alive and well in a wide range of disciplines, as well as Law.  Our world has changed radically since this series began last Autumn. It is too early for anyone to predict how it will look when the crisis subsides, not least regarding university education. One thing for certain is that we will be relying increasingly on digitised resources and online platforms.  This is anticipated by our final two contributors.  Hannah Yates (UK IPO) reminds us of the wide range of their resources freely available to offer to students and academics. Joe Sekhon (Portsmouth University) alerts us to the role that social media can play in conveying IP concepts to student entrepreneurs.

Firstly, from Hannah Yates, we have an overview of the UK IPO's resources:

This Kat is engaging in e-learning
Inspiring future innovation in education: free online learning resources for universities, lecturers, students and researchers from the UK's IPO

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the ‘IP for Universities and Colleges’ group have developed IP Support - free user-friendly online education resources to inspire students, university lecturers, school teachers and professional researchers about the potential of IP for commercialising their innovation.

IP Tutor and IP Tutor Plus – resources for students and lecturers

Visited 7,500 times in the first year, these tools are tailored for Law, Business & Accounting, STEM, Creative and Humanities pathways:
  • IP Tutor - a short, interactive, CPD-accredited IP basics e-learning tool for students.
  • IP Tutor Plus -  for lecturers. Slides, guidance notes, pre-reading for students, case studies, FAQs.
Supporting universities to manage their IP
Professional IP development for UK researchers

Researchers, too, have the potential to commercialise their IP, and we show them how. After IP workshops and webinars in UK universities and research institutions run by IPO partners Vitae, 92% of researchers surveyed expressed greater confidence in managing their own IP and over 98% gained understanding of how to seek IP support from their university. More than 50 universities expressed interest in hosting future workshops or webinars.

Where do we see our IP education resources in the future?

Encouraged by positive feedback, we will continue to develop resources to meet the needs of universities, lecturers, students and researchers, building on our aim to be a leading IP environment and inspire future innovation.

For more information, contact IPO Education and Knowledge Exchange (KE) Policy team at innovation@ipo.gov.uk.

And now from Joe Sekhon (Portsmouth University):

Using social media to deliver IP education messaging to student entrepreneurs

This Kat is big on Instagram
“Too often, our graduates leave university with little understanding of how to protect their ideas or maximise their value.” (Sean Dennehey, Acting Chief Executive and Comptroller-General Intellectual Property Office)

I still recall reading this statement and the rest of the Student Attitudes towards Intellectual Property report in 2012 and thinking to myself: not only is this true of students and graduates in general, but also of student entrepreneurs too, a cohort I have always been interested in from a learning and teaching perspective.

Back in 2012 I had just secured £30,000 from the UKIPO via its Fast Forward Competition. This funding was used to establish an IP Clinic to support Portsmouth University student entrepreneurs to identify, protect and commercialise the IP underpinning their start-up ideas (more details here).

Whilst the Clinic was a success it did not have the reach I wanted. If I were to engage a global young audience with my IP and enterprise messaging then I would need to find a more suitable vehicle. Social media seemed to be the obvious choice: it was free, easy to use and, most importantly, extremely popular amongst my target audience.

I first established a blog dedicated to educating student and graduate entrepreneurs about IP and its importance to their start-up ideas (more details here). This then developed into a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter presence. The Instagram account has been particularly successful as I have received hundreds of direct messages asking for further advice and guidance following the posts I upload. The posts are designed to give practical guidance which entrepreneurs can use immediately (sample post here).

I will shortly be launching an IP mini-book series via Instagram which my initial in-house testing has shown will appeal to student and graduate entrepreneurs.

The coronavirus outbreak in my view has brought the use of online teaching approaches into sharp focus. Whilst university campuses remain shut, colleagues are having to adapt to using software such as Skype, Zoom and other video conferencing applications to deliver their course materials. Social media engagement could also prove invaluable in communicating with a student audience. Perhaps COVID-19 may bring fundamental changes to the delivery of IP curriculum; a pronounced digital footprint will in my view be welcomed by students once the pandemic subsides.

The IPKat would like to thank all contributors throughout this series for their insight into the world of IP Education.
IP Education Series #7 IP Education Series #7 Reviewed by Sophie Corke on Thursday, April 16, 2020 Rating: 5

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