RTC Dinner on Innovation (27 November 2012)

Innovation is a Team Sport: IP, collaboration and the role of engineers

Despite rumours to the contrary, innovation in the UK is alive and well. Professor Andy Hopper – a serial innovator and entrepreneur – will draw on his experience of academia and industry to make some observations and recommendations, including a more flexible interface between universities and business.

Andy Hopper will focus on the current pre-occupation with Intellectual Property (IP) and call on the Government and universities to make it more freely available to UK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). With the success of so much future policy based around engineering and technology, Prof. Hopper believes 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 with the appointment of a Chief Engineering and Technology Adviser.

Professor Andy Hopper CBE, FIET, FREng, FRS
Andy Hopper is the new President of the IET. He co-founded Olivetti Research Laboratory in Cambridge, England 1986. This laboratory was internationally recognised as a centre for excellence, undertaking advanced research into communications, multimedia and mobile technologies. He founded Virata Corporation in 1993 which was a major contributor to the “Cambridge Phenomenon” or Silicon Fen high-tech cluster. Virata provided highly-integrated semiconductors and communications software to Internet access equipment suppliers targeting DSL and broadband wireless devices. He currently heads up the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University. One of its major initiatives is the innovative Raspberry Pi Foundation that promotes the study of computer science and electronics at school level. With a long history of turning innovative research and technology into commercial success he has co-founded a dozen start-ups, three of which have floated on stock markets. He is also Chairman of RealVNC and Ubisense, both born out of research by graduates from Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory and both winners of two Queen’s Awards for Innovation and International Trade.