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IP Cases & Commentary – Details

3 December 2012

UK IPO’s Fast Forward Competition - Fostering UK Innovation

Cathrine McGowan

The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has recently opened its annual 'Fast Forward' competition to entrants for the 2013 awards.

This interesting contest is now in its third year, and is open to universities and other higher education institutes and public sector research establishments.

The aim of the competition is to encourage these bodies to collaborate with businesses and local communities in maximising the benefits of innovation to help United Kingdom society, including growing the economy. Relevant projects are those that foster innovative practice in the management of intellectual property and knowledge exchange, and seek to develop best practice in this area. The competition intends to support activities of this kind that would not normally attract funding from within an institution and would not be viable without external funding, with a view to sustainably establishing the activities.

The 2013 prize fund will be £750,000, to be divided between about twelve successful entrants who can each expect to receive between £10,000 and £100,000. The previous two competitions have divided a total of £1.25 million between 23 lucky winners.

A high-profile winner from the 2012 competition was the 'Bloodhound' project, based at the University of the West of England in Bristol. The Bloodhound is a supersonic car that seeks to break the world land speed record. For the competition, the project shared aspects of the design, building, testing and running of the car with teachers, lecturers and students to give unprecedented access to the project's data, and also worked with SMEs in the technology sector to encourage them to adopt similar sharing practices. This kind of open and collaborative approach to intellectual property underpins the aims of the competition.

The closing date for entries to the competition is 14 December 2012.

If you or someone you know are interested in entering, the application form can be downloaded from the UK IPO's website.

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