Students to gain insight into Intellectual Property

Aston Graduate School

28 April 2015

Aston University will be developing a new generation of Intellectual Property (IP) savvy students, helping to turn inventions into business successes.

The Intellectual Property Office has awarded Aston University a £54,000 grant to support the creation of the Aston PIPE (Patenting, Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship) Club. This is a major cross School initiative that will ensure students at Aston gain valuable disciplinary experience in business, entrepreneurship and intellectual property.

Aston PIPE will help students to set up ‘model companies’ to develop and exploit real ideas for new products and services. Each company will develop their idea to the point of being ready to take it to the market. Students will receive training in IP issues and processes, with support from local businesses, successful former students, leading entrepreneurs and local IP attorneys. The company plans will then be judged with the best receiving seed funding to help turn their idea into a business reality.

The successful Aston funding bid was developed by Claire Howell (Aston Business School/Aston Law), working with colleagues in Life and Health Sciences and Engineering and Applied Science (including Dr Carl Senior and Professor Alison Hodge). It is one of 10 UK university projects chosen to share in £450,000 for their plans to improve understanding and exploitation of IP through student-business partnerships.

Claire Howell from Aston Business School, said: “This award will allow Aston to provide entrepreneurial education in an exciting and multidisciplinary environment. It will help students develop the skills needed to flourish as IP savvy leaders and influencers.”

Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe recently set out her vision that students should have a basic understanding of intellectual property (IP) as a key part of building a successful, innovative future for the UK economy.

Speaking at the IPO’s StudentshIP Enterprise Awards, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said: “IP must be an integrated part of learning from the earliest school years through primary, secondary and higher education”.

Recruitment for the Aston PIPE Club is due to begin from September 2015, with further details to be released towards the start of the next academic year.


For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or

Notes to Editors:

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of intellectual property rights, comprising patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.

The IPO’s role is to help manage an intellectual property system that:

  • encourages innovation and creativity
  • balances the needs of consumers and users
  • promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy