The entrepreneurial spirit in Britain is very much alive and kicking. According to the UK Intellectual Property Office one third of all new patents are now coming from one-man-band operations.
The majority of patents continue to be logged by large companies and research groups but in the first three months of 2007 more than 1800 individuals submitted applications to the UK Intellectual Property Office. That is a third of all applications in the early part of 2007 and this compares with just 24% of applications coming from individuals in 2005.
It is likely that TV programmes like the Dragons’ Den have sparked an interest and enthusiasm for ideas and invention. No doubt, as is exhibited on the Dragons’ Den, many are not going to make it out of the garden shed but the fact that people are thinking in terms of patents shows a serious dedication and a stronger likelihood that a business will develop from the idea.
The figures were revealed at the launch of Cracking Ideas. It is the biggest innovation project ever introduced to the UK's Primary Schools. Special lesson plans, activities, a competition and dedicated website will encourage the children of today to become the inventors of tomorrow. Wallace & Gromit are fronting the campaign.
Cracking Ideas fits in with the National Curriculum and is aimed at 9 to 11 year olds. The aim of the lesson, activities and competition, which every primary school in the country will have a chance to enter, is to encourage children to be innovative and show them how they can profit from, and protect their ideas.
The project, which is led by the UK-IPO, is based around a dedicated website - www.crackingideas.com - which is also where schools can enter an invention for a nationwide competition.
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UK Intellectual Property Office