Ian benefits from Intellectual Property internship with UEA Research and Enterprise services
Ian Young took up the post of Intellectual Property Intern with Research and Enterprise services at the University of East Anglia for his PIPS placement, which he undertook from October 2015. Ian hoped to gain knowledge and experience of intellectual property and the role this has in research institutions and so used his interview at the Employer Forum to explore such opportunities. Ian also wanted to enhance his skills and knowledge in the commercialisation of research technology/innovations and gain skills in the marketing of commercial and academic research.
As part of Ian’s 12 week internship, he was tasked with evaluating and marketing new technology disclosures from a range of faculties across the university. He also had to assess the novelty of, and market opportunity for, technologies and services developed as a result of research at UEA, including undertaking market analysis and developing promotional materials for a number of enterprise projects. Ian selected a sub-set of projects from the portfolio of enterprise opportunities and worked with the Intellectual Property Managers to identify the requirements for each project and how to develop commercial or collaborative opportunities. He assimilated the information for, and produced, marketing materials to promote the opportunities to businesses (e.g. technology flyers). This included producing a professional technology/innovation flyer and standardised template in accordance with University branding guidelines using the desktop publishing software Adobe InDesign. He also researched US and UK university business and marketing strategies in innovation and technology transfer, and presented his findings to colleagues with recommendations, as well as researching information for updating current intellectual property regulations. Ian worked closely with academics on their intellectual property, particularly focusing on creating collaborative research opportunities.
Ian gained an array of skills from his internship, and believes these areas will be highly beneficial to his research project and future career. These skills included transferable skills such as developing written communication, negotiating and communicating with colleagues/clients, critical thinking, evaluation skills, networking, teamworking, organisation and time management, as well as technical experience of things such as the practical application of Adobe InDesign and mathematical modelling. “Liaising with academics regarding their intellectual property increased my confidence, negotiation skills, and ability to create and discuss innovative ideas for commercial and collaboration opportunities”, says Ian. He also gained commercial awareness and an understanding of business/academic contracts as well as an insight into government, industry and academic institutions strategic planning, and knowledge of intellectual property systems including patents. “Working on a specific project and prototype provided great transferable skills and knowledge applying my creativity, mathematical knowledge and problem solving skills”, reflects Ian.
Ian advises future PIPS students to get involved with the opportunities the internship offers as much as possible. “Take on tasks and projects, demonstrate good time management, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, think outside the box and be confident”, says Ian. “These internships are a great way to network and to learn many useful transferable skills for your future career. The more effort and enthusiasm you put in – the more you will get out of the internship and its opportunities”.