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27.04.07
Cornwall innovation growth highlighted on Intellectual Property Day

Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, NJ Akers and Co, yesterday celebrated an office move to larger premises in Truro to coincide with World Intellectual Property Day.

World Intellectual Property Day is an international event, designed to raise the awareness of companies of all sizes and in all commercial areas to the benefits of proper protection for their ideas. NJ Akers & Co decided to hold its reception on World Intellectual Property Day in order to play its part in promoting the value of patent, trade mark and design protection in Cornwall. "We spend a lot of time working with clients and organisations to introduce them to the opportunities and advantages of protecting their ideas," said Mr Akers. "We see many companies who have invested heavily in new technology, brands and designs, only to overlook protecting them. In the commercial world, effective legal protection is a must if the maximum benefit from new ideas is to be realised."

Noel Akers moved the firm from offices near London to Cornwall in early 2005 when he sensed a growth in innovation and knowledge led businesses in Cornwall and the South West region. His business has grown alongside the increase in business activity, largely centred round the Combined Universities in Cornwall and Peninsula Medical and Dental School.

Mr Akers also recognised the ease of communicating via Cornwall's high speed broadband infrastructure, a key requirement for handling an international client base.

The firm has since grown from a sole practitioner to a busy office with four full-time employees. Two of the employees have been employed under Unlocking Cornish Potential, a Combined Universities in Cornwall project that is run by Cornwall College and has received Objective One investment. Under the project graduates are placed with businesses and supported by experts for up to one year.

Mr Akers said: "I can't recommend UCP highly enough! The UCP programme has helped us in a variety of different ways. Cornwall's knowledge economy has undergone a significant growth in the last few years, which I am sure will continue. With the help of UCP and other similar organisations in the region, the business has grown from one employee working from a home office to four full-time employees working from offices in the centre of Truro. UCP has also played an important part in raising awareness of protecting patents, trade marks and designs."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "The Combined Universities in Cornwall is having a multiplier effect across this region by supporting existing businesses and encouraging new. Projects such as Unlocking Cornish Potential are adding knowledge and confidence to aid expansion. Businesses such as NJ Akers and Co are also contributing to this multiplier effect with their expertise on offer."

A spokesman at the Knowledge Spa, which has incubation units for health related businesses and encourages innovation and communication between those in the National Health Service and those in private business, said: "Noel has facilitated workshops for four clients in the NHS in Cornwall and in this way is supporting innovation in the region."

Another example of support is Local businessman Rob Kinna, who appeared on BBC2's Dragons Den last year. He has received assistance with various intellectual property matters from NJ Akers & Co, helping him to secure valuable funding for his Bak-Jak device from the dragons and bring his invention to market.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership on 01872 223439/07973 813647, or email cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and also Unlocking Cornish Potential through the European Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College is a partner in the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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