Software Commercialisation 15-17 May 2019

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Is this course right for me?

The course is suitable for knowledge exchange and commercialisation professionals working in higher education or other public-sector research or NHS innovation environments. Delegates will have experience in technology transfer, but little practical experience of software commercialisation. The course is not intended for those with a degree in computer science or similar.  It will be of most benefit to those who have already worked in technology transfer for at least three months.

Why should I attend this course?

The course will improve delegates' confidence and provide a framework of materials and contacts to refer to when software disclosures arise. Delegates also have the chance to hear from and question university software entrepreneurs at first hand.

What will I learn from the course?

  • A detailed understanding of the special eligibility rules for software patents

  • Appreciation of how software is built from components allowing reuse and sharing, and the specifics of licensing of software components

  • When software may constitute a medical device or diagnostic tool

  • An understanding of the concepts and jargon of software development in order to interact effectively with inventors

  • What questions to ask a software inventor at disclosure, and the implications of the answers for the prospects of the software

The course also focuses on networking, providing a valuable platform to meet peers, discuss best practice, and interact with the course team and other contributors.

PLEASE NOTE: There may be a requirement for delegates to undertake some pre-course work/reading before the course begins.

View programme 


The course will be held at Burleigh Court which is located on the Loughborough University campus (West Entrance). Loughborough railway station is three miles away - taxis are available at the station or there is a regular shuttle bus every 20 minutes from the station to the venue. If you are driving, Burleigh Court is one mile from junction 23 on the M1; ample free secure on-site car parking is available. Nottingham East Midlands Airport is just eight miles away.


Discounted bed and breakfast accommodation is available at Burleigh Court at £92 per night, per person. Please book your accommodation direct with Burleigh Court by calling 01509 633030 and quote the PraxisAuril event reference number 321304 in order to receive the discounted rate. Discounted rates are not available when booking accommodation online.  Any bedrooms that are not booked by Wednesday 17 April 2019 will be released. Accommodation may still be available at Burleigh Court after this date but might not be at the discounted rate.

Please note that the course begins with registration, including dinner and drinks, on Wednesday 15 May 2019 from 1830-2030.

10 ATTP Points

15th May - 17th May


Course Fee (Member price £965) £ 1295.00

Meet the Speakers/Trainers

Gavin Smith

Course Director
Director - IP Development (Lancaster University, retired)
Gavin Smith, now retired, was Director of Lancaster University Business Enterprises Ltd. He was responsible for commercialisation of research from all departments of Lancaster University, including evaluations, patenting, marketing, licensing, spinout company formation and also using IP to assist in winning collaborative research grants. Gavin was an undergraduate and postgraduate at Cambridge University. After a period as a post-doctoral researcher and then travelling, he spent many years in SMEs operating in the electronics, software and banking sectors, and as an independent consultant. He has been and continues to be a director of several university and independent companies.

Dr. David Brownlee

Co-Course Director
Innovation Adviser, HSC Innovations
David Brownlee is the Innovation Advisor for Health and Social Care (HSC) in N. Ireland, where he heads up the HSC Innovations regional service. David graduated with First Class honours and a PhD from Queens University, Belfast in the early 90’s. After a period of Medical Research Council funded post-doctoral research, he then moved into technology transfer at the University of Southampton, subsequently consolidating these skills at the University of Ulster, prior to taking up the current position of Innovation Advisor within the N. Ireland Health Service. Over the past 10 years in HSC, he has been responsible for amongst other things; the creation and delivery of the "Supporting Innovation in the HSC “framework project, the roll-out and adoption of the Innovation Policy for HSC, securing funding for and development of the infrastructure of HSC Innovations as a regional service; and managing and commercialising a pipeline of varied technologies in the healthcare arena. Within the technology transfer arena David is involved in all aspects of the innovation process, as well as strategic management of technology portfolios. His interests include knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC), intellectual asset management, research translation, assessing value (savings) of the introduction of healthcare technologies, technology management and innovation strategy. He has served on the Life and Health Sciences Horizon Panel of MATRIX (the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel which advises Government on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology), NIHR-MRC Working Group for model agreements, Government led study to examine ways to maximise the commercial and economic Impact of the Northern Ireland publicly funded research base, steering committee of the £25k (now INVENT) Entrepreneurship competition, and on various assessment panels including Knowledge Exchange and SBRI. David is also on the professional development committee of PraxisAuril, a world leading national professional association for public sector KEC practitioners - that drives the commercialisation of academic and public sector research for social and economic impact. He represents HSC in this important area of Innovation within the healthcare environment both nationally and internationally.

Catherine Bottrill

CEO and Co-founder, Pilio Ltd
Catherine Bottrill is CEO and Co-Founder of Pilio Ltd, an energy analytics and software company spun-out from her building energy research at the University of Oxford in 2011. Catherine has led the development of Pilio's software service and the building of its customer base, which includes: Whitbread, Scottish Power, and St. Paul's Cathedral. She has 10-years experience in creating online tools to support building energy management and organisation behaviour change. She holds a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University, USA. She is on Julie's Bicycle Industry Green Advisory Group.

Philip Cupitt

Partner, Marks & Clerk
Philip is a UK and European Patent Attorney with over fifteen years’ experience. His practice focuses on drafting and prosecuting patent applications, with a particular emphasis on computer-implemented inventions. Over the course of his career, Philip has prosecuted hundreds of patent applications for software-based inventions. His areas of interest include artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile telecommunications, image and video processing, e-commerce and computer security. He enjoys handling difficult cases at the borderline of patentability, and his work has included representing an appellant at the English Patents Court in one of the UK's leading cases on the patentability of computer programs.

Dr. Peter Donnelly

Co-Founder, MedZone Solutions
Over the past 25 years Dr Peter Donnelly has worked for blue-chip companies, new start businesses and research organisations in various industries although his primary focus has been the Life and Health Science Sector. Dr Donnelly was a founder, and Chief Executive Officer of BioBusiness, the All-Island business association for the Life and Health Science Sector. BioBusiness developed and delivered toolkits and programmes in priority areas such as Innovation, Supply Chain Management and Regulatory support. BioBusiness has leveraged over €54million in economic and commercial impact through 5 ABC (Academic, Business, and Clinical) collaborative programmes it has managed and facilitated. Peter became a founding director and Chief Technology Officer in Bluescope Medical Technologies Ltd in 2004, manufacturing cardio-respiratory devices. He sold the business to Axellis in November 2007 and became the group CTO until March 2009. He holds several patents in novel cardio-respiratory devices and maintains research links with centres across the UK and Ireland. Dr Donnelly also co-founded an international regulatory and business consultancy MedZone Solutions for the digital health, medical device, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics market. Their clients include HSC NI, NHS Scotland, NHS England, Ulster University, Queens University and Enterprise Ireland. Peter Donnelly co-introduced a novel medical device software framework that has received international recognition. Dr Donnelly continues this work at Dundalk Institute of Technology where he supports the Regulatory Software Research Centre, the School of Nursing, and the School of Business in research into Lean Innovation and Cluster Development. In November 2015 Peter established Tapa Healthcare in Dundalk, Ireland, as a medical software product company to deliver an innovative leading edge clinical support system for patient assessment in hospitals. Their product READS, is the most advanced clinical assessment and support tool for patient centric proactive care that brings clinical intelligence to healthcare globally and is in use in Ireland, UK, Denmark, Germany and Uganda.

Mr. Nicholas Ferrar

Partner, Adamson Jones
Nic Ferrar holds a Masters of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Leeds. After graduating, Nic took a commercial role within the engineering software industry, which involved managing accounts in the automotive, aerospace and marine industries. Nic joined the patent profession in 2003, working for a London-based private practice. Since that time Nic has also gained experience in industry, at Rolls-Royce plc, where he both handled a patent prosecution caseload and advised the business on commercial Intellectual Property matters. Nic qualified as a Patent Attorney in 2007 and has handled a wide variety of technical subject matter across a number of engineering disciplines, including aerospace, manufacturing, power and HVAC, as well as more general consumer goods. Nic also maintains a strong interest in IP protection for software-related innovations and has successfully prosecuted a number of patent applications in fields including design, analysis, control, diagnostics and health monitoring. Nic is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and a member of the Institute’s Computer Technology Committee, and a Member of the European Patents Institute. Nic was recommended in the Legal 500 UK 2017 PATMA: Patent Attorneys rankings.

Mr. James Walkerdine

Chief Operating Officer, Relative Insight Ltd
James Walkerdine is a founder and the COO of Relative Insight. After completing his PhD, he spent 10 years as a Computer Science Research Fellow at Lancaster University before spinning out and overseeing the commercialisation of the research. He initially led the company, secured initial venture capital funding and oversaw the building of a management team to take the company forward. He now deals with the day to day running of Relative Insight, managing the operational side of the company and its client projects, whilst still continuing to contribute to the underlying technical development when he can. Relative Insight’s analysis technology is now used by global corporations including Unilever, Disney, Pearson, Havas, Twitter and Microsoft.

Mr. Scott Wilson

Service Manager
Scott Wilson has worked in both the software industry and public sector, particularly in the areas of interoperability and open standards. Scott has a great deal of practical experience of open development; he is a committer on several projects at the Apache Software Foundation, and is chair of the Apache Wookie project. He is also co-chair of several W3C groups. Scott has also been involved with numerous European-funded collaborative ICT projects, leading work packages and developing proposals.

Ciara McGahey

Events Coordinator, PraxisAuril
I am the Event Coordinator responsible for this event. If you need to contact me please email or phone 01223 659951.
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