Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK


Business: The Economy

Inventor's bright academy idea

"The corporate boys move in hard," says Trevor Baylis

An inventor who made his name by pioneering a wind-up radio is launching a new group to champion like-minded boffins.

Trevor Baylis, inventor of the clockwork radio, says he wants others to be spared the problems he faced with big businesses cashing in on his ideas.


Trevor Baylis: "We must protect ourselves."
He is setting up the British Academy of Invention, which will give members a range of help, from preparing business plans to arranging patents.

Mr Baylis says he had to fight off businesses trying to use his 'intellectual property' before his invention was finally manufactured and became a success.


[ image: The clockwork radio was a huge success for Mr Baylis]
The clockwork radio was a huge success for Mr Baylis
"Most of us aren't street-wise and we don't know how to protect ourselves," Mr Baylis says.

He says the UK produces a high proportion of the world's inventors - but the nation has lost £165bn through ideas being exploited abroad. He wants to stem the flow and boost the UK's economy.

In five years, since his battery-less radio hit the marketplace, he has spent £20,000 planning the academy.

He says it is almost a full-time job lobbying MPs and ministers to raise awareness of the expense of taking out a patent, as well as answering letters from frustrated inventors.

Auction option

In return for offering help with patents and marketing, the academy will reap some of the financial rewards.

One option is for British and Commonwealth companies to be given the chance at auction to bid for new inventions. A portfolio, detailing performance, potential market size and ease of manufacture, will be provided.

At present, inventors receive support from the Institute of Patentees and Inventors.

But Paul Ambridge of the institute supports the new academy because, he says, his organisation cannot offer money.


[ image: James Kelly: We can give credibility]
James Kelly: We can give credibility
"Each year about 50,000 people come up with new ideas. Of those only 80 get into the marketplace and of those 80, only about 50 get into the marketplace because they've been taken up by overseas manufacturers, as was Trevor's clockwork radio," he said.

The problem is that industry is not receptive enough to new ideas, said Mr Ambridge.

The new academy will be housed in premises belonging to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in central London.

Director of Marketing James Kelly said: "The institution can certainly help him by offering credibility because we offer high-level representation to government."





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Economy Contents


Relevant Stories

03 Jun 99†|†UK
Eureka! But what next?





Internet Links


Chartered Institute of Patent Agents

Institute of Patentees and Inventors

UK Patent Office

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Trevor Baylis: The Academy of Invention


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

Brown considers IMF job

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

No longer Liffe as we know it

The growing threat of internet fraud

House passes US budget

Online share dealing triples

Rate fears as sales soar

Brown's bulging war-chest

Oil reaches nine-year high

UK unemployment falls again

Trade talks deadlocked

US inflation still subdued

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Bank considered bigger rate rise

UK pay rising 'too fast'

Utilities face tough regulation

CBI's new chief named

US stocks hit highs after rate rise

US Fed raises rates

UK inflation creeps up

Row over the national shopping basket

Military airspace to be cut

TUC warns against following US

World growth accelerates

Union merger put in doubt

Japan's tentative economic recovery

EU fraud costs millions

CBI choice 'could wreck industrial relations'

WTO hails China deal

US business eyes Chinese market

Red tape task force

Websites and widgets

Guru predicts web surge

Malaysia's economy: The Sinatra Principle

Shell secures Iranian oil deal

Irish boom draws the Welsh

China deal to boost economy

US dream scenario continues

Japan's billion dollar spending spree