Analysis: East of England patent approvals top the UK

Date: June 29, 2023

This article first appeared on Business Weekly

The East of England has been named the UK’s most innovative region as patent approvals for novel inventions were found to be the highest in the country for the last year on record, 2021.

Fresh analysis by innovation funding specialist Catax (a Ryan company) reveals that there is more innovation going on in this region than in London.

A total of 851 patents were granted to applicants in the East of England, representing 17.4 per cent of the UK total; approvals for patents made by East of England innovators doubled in five years. The region’s total was up 109.1 per cent from 407 in 2016.

The innovation pipeline in the UK generally is weakening as patent filings were down 13.1 per cent on five years previously.

In 2016, the South East had the largest share of UK patents but it now sits in third place behind the East of England and Scotland.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, meaning it cannot be commercially made or sold by others without the patent owner’s consent. Patents are only approved for truly novel inventions that can be made or used in industry.

Mark Tighe, CEO at Catax said: “The East of England has transformed itself into the patent capital of the UK, receiving more approvals for its innovations than anywhere else in the country.

“The region is the UK’s second-largest employer in the life sciences industry and boasts the second highest turnover in the biopharmaceutical sector – which will be playing a big part in helping innovators increase the number of approved patents.

“There is a lot of work still to be done to ensure this success does not drop off. Already there are signs that the patent pipeline is weakening.

“Science and innovation sits at the heart of the UK’s ambitions for growth, and research institutions and businesses need to make the most of government support, which can provide the resources to make even more breakthroughs possible.”

(Analysis of IPO patent data in 2016 and 2021. Country/regional data based on address given for the first named applicant).

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