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IP in the Digital Age

February 20, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Digital Engineering & Test Centre (DETC) is tasked with bringing gaming and other capabilities from the digital world into the UK automotive sector, to improve automotive’s global competitiveness and to help solve some of the challenges facing automotive including real-world emissions, flexible manufacturing, and the testing of increasingly complex safety-critical vehicle systems.

Gaming, in particular, has far shorter design and product life-cycles compared to traditional engineering industries such as automotive, and this rapid speed of development, exploitation and obsolescence has seen them develop and adopt different approaches to intellectual property (IP) ownership rights and exploitation.

There is clearly a gap in practices between the well-established automotive and these newer, more fleet-of-foot, business sectors in terms of how IP should be handled and on the associated subjects of contracts and supplier relationships. This workshop will help the digital and automotive worlds better understand each other’s points of view and look into how emergent technologies, such as blockchain, must be embraced to help UK automotive reap the benefits of fast transactions, lower costs (and less obstructive) ways of handling IP with these new supply-chain entrants.


  • For both sectors present (UK automotive and UK digital/gaming) to understand the current IP models used on both sides, where those models work add value and where they could add value.
  • To look into how newer IP and contractual models might work for both sectors, how to remove the barriers to adoption, and which tools might help in that regard
  • Review the emergent trends of blockchain, related tools, and X-as-a-service business model.
  • To help establish links between UK digital SMEs, UK automotive, and UK academia for future collaborative research and work in this area

9:30 Welcome – Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult
9:45 About the day – Jon Horsley, Programme Director DETC
10:00 Background to Intellectual Property protection in the UK – John Laughlin, Appleseed Solutions
10:45 Coffee and discussion
11:10 “The Digital Catapult’s work in Blockchain” – Matt Ward, Digital Catapult
11:40 Panel and workshop: “How to bridge the gap between Automotive and Digital” – Introductions by Mark Mathieson, McLaren Automotive, and Tanya Laird, Digital Jam, and chaired by Steven Wood, Digital Catapult. Facilitated discussion around barriers and how to overcome them for faster, cheaper handling of IP within automotive collaborations and relationships
12:30 Networking buffet lunch
13:30 BitCars, Auto-contracts, and other areas the emergent technology will impact – Steve Ratheram, Inspiring Ltd
14:00 “Adapt or Adopt or Die? How large organisations are responding to the change” – Richard French, Chief Legal Officer, Digital Catapult
14:45 Wrap-up and conclusions – Jon Horsley, Programme Director DETC
15:00 Close

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Digital Engineering & Test Centre


Digital Catapult Centre
101 Euston Road
London, NW1 2RA
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0300 1233 101