IET President’s Address 2012

12 October 2012
IET Communications team
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Professor Andy Hopper delivering his IET President's Address

Professor Andy Hopper delivering his IET President's Address.

Professor Andy Hopper gives his perspective on innovation.

Beginning his year as IET president, Professor Andy Hopper gave a President’s Address focusing on how innovation can boost the economy.

Held on 4 October in the historic Lecture Theatre at IET London: Savoy Place, Andy’s inaugural address was entitled ‘A perspective on innovation’.

In the speech, Andy called on the UK Government to give small and medium-sized businesses open access to the intellectual property created in universities. He said: “Tax payers are already funding the creation of innovative intellectual property in our universities, so it seems reasonable to make it more freely available to UK SMEs that are best positioned to add value and commercialise it.

“Universities should be encouraged and incentivised to kick start the development of new technologies and products by openly assigning the required IP to dynamic British businesses at minimal extra cost. In return, maybe the university could get a one or two per cent shareholding – more of a goodwill gesture than a conventional transaction.”

He also called on the Government to create a chief engineering and technology adviser so national infrastructure projects get the expertise they desperately need and to make sure the UK is able to harness advances in technology. He added: “The UK Government has a complete absence of engineers in the Cabinet and poor representation across Parliament and the Civil Service. With the success of so much future policy based around engineering and technology, I believe that it is time for the Government to draw on the knowledge and experience of the UK’s best engineering talent at the highest levels.”

Close to 300 people were in attendance to hear Andy live, with more joining in via IET.tv. You can watch an on-demand video of the event on the IET.tv website.

Andy’s views on innovation attracted significant media coverage, including an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and an article in The Engineer magazine. You can also read more on E&T online.