Policy Update

22 May 2013
IET Communications team
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Six men at a table to discuss intellectual property

Speakers at the World Intellectual Property Day 2013 at the House of Commons

News from the IET Policy team.

Recent work from the IET’s policy volunteers and staff includes successful activities on smart metering and intellectual property, and the provision of advice to government and parliamentary committees on a diverse range of topics. You can find out more below, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Policy team.

Engineering Policy Groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland

The IET’s Engineering Policy Groups in Northern Ireland (EPGNI) and Scotland (EPGS) take a table each year at their Local Network’s annual dinner. This gives the groups an opportunity to engage with representatives from the local Parliament or Assembly, and other organisations who they may work with in the future.
This year, two members of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s enterprise, trade and investment committee attended the EPGNI table and had constructive talks with Group representatives from local industry and academia. Member of the Scottish Parliament Murdo Fraser, who is also chairperson of the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee, also attended the EPGS table.

Intellectual Property

The Intellectual Property Awareness Network (IPAN) recently held a celebration for World Intellectual Property Day 2013 at the House of Commons. The IET works with IPAN to formulate informed intellectual property rights (IPR) opinion to parliamentarians and government officials. Pete Wishart MP, who is also vice chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Intellectual Property, hosted the event and the IET was a sponsor.
In addition to MPs, Lords and IPR professionals it was pleasing to have in the 100+ audience young people just starting out on their careers. All too often awareness of the important benefits and obligations of IPR are not appreciated until late in a person’s career. IPAN can help in this respect: http://www.ipaware.net/

Smart metering

Members of the Energy, Communications and IT Policy Panels met with officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to discuss their smart meter programme. The meeting went very well and DECC thanked the IET for "a very useful and valuable session".
At their request, written guidance was also submitted by the IET to the DECC Smart Metering Team on best practice approach to the project management of risk and milestones.

IET in Parliament

The Minister for Science and Universities, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, quoted statistics from the IET’s Skills and Demand in Industry Survey in his answer to a written Parliamentary question from Nadine Dorries MP.
The IET Skills and Demand in Industry survey was also quoted in a written parliamentary question from Margot James MP regarding what the government could do to encourage more women into engineering.  

Reform of the National Curriculum

Three of the Institution’s Policy Panels - IT, Communications and Education – contributed to the IET’s submission to the Department of Education’s National Curriculum consultation. The submission, entitled ‘Consultation on Reform of the National Curriculum in England’, broadly agreed with the proposals for the computing curriculum but disagreed with the proposed Design and Technology (D&T) curriculum. The submission suggested that the D&T curriculum as proposed would set significantly lower expectations for students than the existing course of study, with an inappropriately high focus on practical and life skills at the expense of encouraging students to innovate, design, create and build. It considered the proposed D&T curriculum to be contrary to the government’s overall aim to raise STEM skills.

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