Patents are, of necessity, filed at an early stage in the development of new technology, which means that patent filing trends can provide good insights today’s R&D and tomorrow’s leading technologies.Climate change targets are a major driver of innovation in today’s world. There is little doubt that innovative solutions are needed across the board if we are to achieve net-zero by 2050, and limit the rise in average global temperate to below 2C, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
Automotive Round Table: The EV landscape promises a bright shiny future – but there will be bumps in the road?
The Automotive Group at Reddie & Grose recently held a virtual round-table with a select group of experts in the industry. We had representatives from an electric vehicle start-up, an energy services company, an automotive funding platform, an energy and sustainability strategy consultancy, the IMechE’s Powertrains and Fuels group, and a barrister who is a specialist in the law of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles.We set ourselves the ambitious agenda of discussing the likely key technologies to emerge in the next 10 years in powertrains, energy storage and delivery, autonomy, and sustainability, and whether there would be any legal challenges to overcome, IP or otherwise. With the long list of discussion topics in mind, we jumped off from the UK government’s proposal to end the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, or even 2032. What would that mean for the industry, and would it be effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The conversation flowed from there …
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.
We have previously looked at a variety of innovations which could replace plastic packaging and prevent plastic from ending up in the ocean. There is no doubt that innovation is key to solving the plastic problem; however, innovators are faced with an additional challenge when researching and developing an idea. This is because it must be taken into consideration that the benefits of innovations will only be realised if they are readily adopted by the wider public. To stimulate innovation which fits with people’s existing behaviour patterns, or is consciously designed to encourage and facilitate changes in behaviour, Innovate UK has recently opened a new funding competition entitled “Designing sustainable plastic solutions”.
The British Standards Institute, sponsored by Innovate UK, has recently published a free to download PAS 440:2020 Responsible Innovation – Guide. The guide aims to provide comprehensive direction for companies on best practice for innovators. It helps those companies consider the wider implications of their innovation, capture the outcomes of that consideration, and communicate those outcomes to stakeholders.
Driven by a variety of concerns about the environmental impact of meat consumption, animal welfare, and/or health considerations, large numbers of people are moving towards vegetarian, vegan, or “flexitarian” diets. In the last 2 years alone, demand for meat substitutes has grown by 37% in America, and by 30% in western Europe, and Euromonitor expects the market for meat alternatives in both Europe and the US to double by 2022. And with growing public awareness of the impact of intensive animal farming on global warming, this trend is forecast to go only one way.
Brewing giant Carlsberg recently unveiled two prototypes for a “paper beer bottle”, as part of the firm’s Together Towards Zero environmental initiative.