On-demand, rental electric scooters are seen as a way of easing the pressure on public transport systems during the COVID-19 crisis. Although e-scooters have been in the UK for some time now, e-scooter rentals only became legal on UK roads on 4 July 2020. Up until 4 July 2020, it was illegal to use e-scooters on any public road or footpath in the UK. Even with the change in the law, it is still illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on a public road or a footpath in the UK. This article takes a look at the patent portfolios of some of the major players in e-scooter rentals.
Insights: Eco & Sustainability
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. However, while the world has experienced events such as threats of war, bush fires and a global pandemic among many others, Great Britain quietly passed a significant milestone last month. On 16th June 2020, Great Britain went more than two whole months without coal power with a total of 67-days, 22-hours and 55-minutes coal-free.
On July 20th, 2020, Innovate UK opened a first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), designed to help businesses with high energy use to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions through investing in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies. The IETF is managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is a joint sponsor. This first phase consists of a funding competition offering a total share of up to £30 million, divided into two competition strands and open to any business registered, and planning to carry out the project work, in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The project submission deadline for both strands is on October 28th, 2020. A second phase will launch in 2021 with up to £269 million of funding.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large amount of government backed funding made available in the UK to promote UK based innovation. In particular, various schemes, competitions, grants and loans have been announced with the aim of helping UK SMEs involved in technology and R&D grow as the Covid-19 disruption dies down. We have reported on a number of these recently. An area that is important for achieving this aim, but is perhaps at risk of being overlooked during this period of widespread disruption and uncertainty, is intellectual property.
The UK government has announced a number of funding and support packages aimed at helping innovative firms through the Covid-19 pandemic. We have reported on a number of these schemes in recent weeks, including the recently announced Automotive Transformation Fund. A further recently announced fund is the Sustainable Innovation Fund, which is a fund of almost £200 million to help UK companies recover from the impact of Covid-19. The stated aim of the fund is to support “companies across all parts of the UK who need urgent financial support to keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive”.
The Automotive Transformation Fund – a new funding competition to move the automotive sector to zero emissions
Innovate UK – together with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for International Trade (DIT) – have opened a new funding competition: The Automotive Transformation Fund. This funding competition can be seen as part of the UK government’s broader Road to Zero Strategy which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions to zero by 2050, and, perhaps more ambitiously, aims for at least half of new cars to be “ultra-low emission” by 2030.
Following our recent blog on the shortlist of finalists for the 2020 MacRobert Award, the Royal Academy of Engineering has now announced that the winner of the 2020 MacRobert Award is JCB, with the 19C-1E electric digger.
For over 50 years the MacRobert Award has been recognising world-leading engineering innovations developed in the UK. Originally founded by the MacRobert Trust in 1969, the award has since become the UK’s longest-running and most coveted prize for UK engineering ingenuity. The annual award is now run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and honours engineering achievements that demonstrate outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit and proven commercial success. The list of past winners of the award serves as an impressive reminder of the wide-ranging capabilities of British engineers.