Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Business Sustainability and Intellectual Property - how to make the Most of a Useful Essex Initiative

The Royal Opera House's Manoukian Production Facility Source Wikipedia

Jane Lambert

On the 6 Dec 2010 the Royal Opera House opened a workshop for making scenery and properties for its operas and ballets known as the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop at the High House Production Park in Thurrock (see Warwick Thompson "Manoukian Foundation Helps Finance U.K. Royal Opera Facility" 21 Dec 2010 Bloomberg).  One of the features of that workshop is that it is designed to be as energy efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

The Park has become a hub for the creative industries with the arrival of other businesses and institutions in the cultural sector. The Royal Opera House is now participating in a number of initiatives to assist small and medium enterprises in that sector in the East of England.  The latest initiative is Culture Change which is a business support programme for those businesses.  Supported by the European Regional Development Fund the project offers conferences and seminars on business sustainability, consultancy and individual business support and a peer to peer business support network.

The dates and particulars of those conferences, seminars and other events appear on the "Free workshops, webinars and networking events from Culture Change" page of the Royal Opera House website. Topics include funding, employment, environmental action planning and business sustainability supplied by the Royal Opera House itself and a number of partners including Julie's Bicycle which makes "environmental sustainability intrinsic to the business, art and ethics of music, theatre and the creative industries."

The first of the Culture Change events was the launch conference that took place at the Royal Opera House on 5 Feb 2014.  The House has published a YouTube video of the event, the agenda and speakers' biographies.  Although the agenda was very wide ranging there appears to have been no express consideration of the intellectual property issues that relate to sustainability which is surprising as intellectual property is vital to the creative industries.

One development that could be of enormous benefit to the businesses and institutions participating in Culture Change is the launch of WIPO Green a few months earlier by the World Intellectual Property Organization (the UN specialist agency for intellectual property). The purpose of WIPO Green and the way it works is explained in WIPO's YouTube video "WIPO GREEN - The Sustainable Technology Marketplace". This facility enables businesses to search for technologies which might address their needs that are ready for licensing and to offer any technologies that they may develop to those looking for such technologies around the world. WIPO Green is capable of magnifying the culture change initiative exponentially.

Those who  are not yet familiar with the basics of intellectual property law may wish to download my presentation "Introduction to Intellectual Property" and accompanying handout that I gave last year. The law will change shortly when the Intellectual Property Bill comes into force.  I am giving a talk "Learn how the IP Bill will affect you" on the 19 May 2014 at 16:00.  There is no charge for attending the talk but space is limited so you should book well in advance. You can reserve your place by calling George on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or registering on-line.

Post Script

There us already a direct link between WIPO Green and this region in that one of the partners in the scheme is Cambridge IP, an innovation and IP consultancy based in Cambridge as the corporate name suggests.