Trinity recently marked World Intellectual Property Day by welcoming staff and students for one-on-one consultations with knowledge transfer experts from the Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange (OCPKE).
The team organised a pop-up IP lounge and provided a unique opportunity for researchers, and potential businesses and start-ups to get free advice on all aspects of IP, including on patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright and licensing.
Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), Dr Alison Campbell, attended the event, along with Trinity’s Dean of Research, Linda Doyle, and Senior Patents and Licensing Manager in Trinity Research & Innovation, Dr Emily Vereker – the winner of the 2018 KTI Knowledge Transfer Achiever Award. KTI, as the national office that promotes and encourages knowledge transfer between universities and industry, works closely with all universities including Trinity.
The experts emphasised the importance of the “people” and the “talent” in the context of IP, stressing that it is not just about the getting a patent application filed. Importantly, IP is an output of research excellence and comes in many guises, such as knowhow, copyright, software, designs, processes, trademarks and patents. Getting the IP strategy right from the beginning and building on it is very important as the underpinning research progresses.
In many cases, the ideas underpinning the IP can be incredibly innovative. One such example is provided by Foodcloud, which was co-founded by former Trinity students Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien. Foodcloud aims to eliminate food waste in shops and businesses by diverting it to charities and other good causes through use of a clever app.
Head of OCPKE in Trinity, Dr Declan Weldon, said: “Our idea was to encourage creativity in people and facilitate a better awareness of the value behind their innovations, and of how to protect their IP. We hope to build on the success of this year’s event and reach out on a larger scale to the public for next year’s World IP Day.”
Trinity is Ireland’s most successful university at winning European Research funding, in particular from Horizon 2020, and is also ranked as the leading university in Europe for producing entrepreneurs by independent company, Pitchbook. Initiatives such as Launchbox have been tremendously successful in supporting students to create viable businesses, many of which have solved important societal problems.