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Knowledge Assets in the Public Sector

Dr Penny Owen, NPL’s Commercial Director, spoke at the Knowledge Assets Launch event, alongside the Minister for Science Research and Innovation, Amanda Solloway and Dr Andrew Mackintosh, industry expert and co-creator of the Mackintosh report.

Last year, NPL in partnership with HM Treasury, ran a series of Innovation Webinars showcasing the ideas, knowledge and intellectual property being harnessed within the public sector to improve our quality of life. HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have recently published The Mackintosh Report: Getting smarter: a strategy for knowledge & innovation assets in the public sector, highlighted in NPL’s first webinar, and Draft Guidance to support the effective management of public sector knowledge and innovation assets.

Talking at the launch of the Knowledge Assets programme, Dr Owen described a range of NPL’s potentially game-changing technologies, the challenges in taking them forward and how this strategy can help address those barriers. These technologies include, a graphene-based sensor that can detect COVID-19, an ion-trap based quantum processor and a thermal imaging device which could revolutionise the identification and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.

These are just three examples of potentially game-changing technologies invented at NPL, which with the right support could be further developed and commercialised for the benefit of the UK, both through the impact of these innovations and by creating financial returns.

The Knowledge Assets strategy, by creating the infrastructure and particularly access to funding to support public sector bodies like NPL, can enable us to better realise the potential of our knowledge assets.

During the event Dr Owen stated: “Public sector organisations like NPL have a wealth of knowledge-based assets; untapped opportunities that could be applied to solving challenges like preventable amputations or enabling the UK to lead in quantum computing. We can do more to manage these, to develop and exploit them fully for the benefit of the UK.”

Science Minister, Amanda Solloway stated: “The UK public sector has a wealth of valuable knowledge-based assets such as R&D and intellectual property that if harnessed correctly could be used to inform policy making, boost productivity and improve all our lives.

“I was thrilled to launch the Knowledge Assets Programme which will help to utilise public sector data and technology, supporting organisations like NPL while cementing the UK’s status as a science superpower.”

21 Jun 2021