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World IP Day 2022 - IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future


Claire Wilson - Head of IP Legal Services

WIPD main World IP Day 2022 - IP and Youth Innovating for a Better Future - composite image card with all sorts of IP examples

On the 26th April each year the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) leads the celebrations for World IP Day, promoting the key role that intellectual property (IP) plays in driving innovation and creativity. World IP Day is an opportunity to consider how the tools of the IP system - such as trademarks, patents, design rights and copyright - can support ambitions for the future. Each year WIPO select a theme and this year it is IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future’. 

The proportion of young people under 35 is set to increase in the coming years and this theme celebrates the fresh perspectives, energy and creativity that young people can bring to steer a course towards an innovative and sustainable future. At QinetiQ, we have recently released our Net Zero Plan, which emphasises the need for innovation to create products, and services that help our customers deliver exceptional capability whilst remaining mindful of the need to do so in a sustainable manner; one example being the acceleration of the development of electrification technologies for military vehicles. Gen Z and Millennials are natural agents for change and their innovative ideas will help us to achieve these goals.

We place great value in our Graduate and Apprentice schemes and recognise the importance of these communities in their contribution towards company innovation, which is something that we hold at the heart of our business strategy. The Legal and IP Team have had the opportunity to offer a number of graduate placements over the last few years, enabling graduates as part of their development at QinetiQ to increase their knowledge and expertise on why IP is so important to an organisation such as QinetiQ.  

Recent graduates had the following feedback:

 “I applied for a placement with the Legal & IP team to get a new perspective on IP and to obtain a better understanding of how IP may be protected. During my time with the team I gained useful insight into patent drafting and experienced ‘searching’. The placement has given me experience that will be valuable in my home role with the Haslar Power Sources team when dealing with new innovations and the work that may generate them. I have developed a huge appreciation for the work done by the patent attorneys, and the whole Legal team.”                                                                                             -  Matt Stephens, Applied Science Graduate 2020.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the IP team, it gave me a chance to really develop my analysis and critical thinking skills as well as getting great opportunities to improve my legal drafting skills. These opportunities are invaluable to somebody who is early on in their career and has equipped me with skills it would have taken a long time to develop naturally. My time working with the Patents team allowed me to gain a very in-depth knowledge of our company history and how that aligns to the direction the company is going in now. I was also able to gain a much better appreciation of the technical functions and the work that they need to do regarding patents. Without my time in the IP department I would not have gained this valuable knowledge of the wider company”                                                                                      -  Stephen Brownstone, Assistant Commercial Manager.

At QinetiQ, we pride ourselves on our mission-led innovation approach and our ability to solve real world problems. Working with our customers across the defence, security and technology sectors, we create and protect IP - holding responsibility for world-changing technologies such as satellite navigation systems, hybrid electric drive systems and electromagnetic detections technologies. We attach key importance to recording, protecting and building on our ideas and inventions to enable us to continue to innovate for our customer’s advantage, whilst striving for sustainable solutions and ultimately, a better future.  

Over the next few days, we will be sharing stories about innovation and IP, and the individuals and technologies that make up our unique organisation here at QinetiQ. We will explore IP in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as looking at QinetiQ’s sponsorship and supervision of PhD studentships.