Continuing to support local businesses BIC Chief Executive Geoff Riley is now a Member of the Board of Directors at Stafford Enterprise.
Stafford Enterprise helps people setting up in business within the Stafford Borough and provides help and support for young business up to 12 months old.
A recent report suggests that there may possibly be a hostile takeover bid from the American company Pfizer of up to $100bn for the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca which is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the UK.
AstraZeneca reported pre-tax losses of $715m during the first quarter of this year compared with a $1.8bn profit for the same period in 2012.
Both companies have very valuable patents for very well known products such as Viagra, Nexium and Crestor. But patents last for just 20 years and these valuable ones will soon run out and open the doors for other companies to copy them legally.
It is therefore interesting to read that one of the main reasons for the potential takeover bid may be the fact that AstraZeneca unlike Pfizer has a long pipeline of new products following investment in R&D.
As an organisation the BIC always encourages companies to have a healthy pipeline for new products as there could be many external reasons beyond a company’s control affecting the success of its existing products and it is good Innovation strategy to have new products waiting on the back burner.
The BIC has good advice and various funding streams to help companies with their new product development pipeline.
WHEN : Wednesday 7th May 2014 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
TIME : Beacon International Centre, Stafford, ST18 0GB
WHAT IS IT :This workshop delivered by the Intellectual Property Office aims to give participants a good overview of intellectual property and how it impacts on small and medium sized businesses!
Delegates will be presented with a series of scenarios in which intellectual property is crucial to a business to help them to identify what assets they have within their business and how to protect them:
- Trade Marks
- Registered Designs
WHEN : Wednesday 7th May 2014 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TIME : Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford, ST16 2LT
WHAT IS IT : Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership invites you to discover the financial support available within the area. This FREE event will inform, raise awareness and overcome misconceptions of the models and sources of funds available to small and medium sized businesses.
- Small Business Grants
- High Growth Investment
- Equity & Venture Capital
- Non-Bank Lending
- inc. finance, invoice, discounting / factoring
CONGRATULATIONS TO KNIGHTS FOR WINNING OUR INNOVATION AWARD
Over the last 18 months Knights invested heavily in new IT systems resulting in a paperless office which has lead to greater efficiency and better productivity. Investor and former Dragon’s Den star James Caan was so impressed that he recently announced financial backing for the Newcastle law firm.
They were subsequently announced as winners of the Innovation Award at the Sentinel Business Awards and their Chief Executive Officer David Beech is seen here being presented with his plaque by the BIC’s Chairman Andrew Briggs
The BIC would also like to Congratulate all other winners and runner ups as this years Awards
Everything about Knights is different to the traditional law firm. We are run like a business – with management decisions made quickly in the interests of the business as a whole. We have introduced a number of new methods in order to prepare for the future.
CLOSING DATE IS 27 June 2014
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business programme now open for applications!
Fully funded programme over five months to unlock the potential in your business!
The current round for applications closes on 27 June 2014 so if you are interested in applying please visit:
I came across an interesting concept over the weekend where I read that an American inventor had designed an inflatable shelter for the homeless.
You may think this is a simple tent but it is designed to attach to an external excess heating unit (HVAC) which will heat up the unit to keep the homeless warm in the winter months.
For less than 5$ this seems a sensible way of re-using heat which would simply dissipate into the air.
I’m sure such a concept could take off during the night but I can’t imagine many people wanting these inflatables visible outside their buildings during the day.
Take a look at the paraSITE: http://michaelrakowitz.com/projects/parasite/
and maybe you could think of a less controversial way of re-using this kind of energy ?
WHEN : Wednesday 26th March 2014 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
TIME : Moat House Hotel, Lower Penkridge Road, Acton Trussell, ST17 0RJ
WHAT IS IT : Designed for local businesses to help raise their profile but most importantly to do business and make new contacts. It’s a cost effective, practical business exhibition with seminars and advice clinics for both the business community and members of the public looking to set up in business.
There are many ways in which your business can make the most of this event:
- Any business or member of the public can simply come and join us as a visitor and make the most of this networking opportunity.
- Those businesses based in Stafford Borough can book exhibition space.
- In addition to the above anyone can attend the seminars and advice clinics by appointment.
Two interesting events have happened recently, the Annual Consumer Electronics Show has just come to an end in Las Vegas and NESTA’s in-house experts have predicted what will be big over the next 12 months.
There are a number of interesting technologies which many may say are already out in the market but to date they have not been that accessible or financially obtainable but predictions are that they will be in 2014 and as BIC clients are areas you should maybe look to get involved with:
It is predicted there will be an increase in Automated self-checkout technology, extending from beyond the current small basket use to large trolley shoppers where 360 degree scanners will be able to scan 60 items per minute and be twice as fast as a normal checkout. Self Checkout will be used in smaller convenience stores and will also extend beyond the grocery market
Renewable Energy will also be in our own backyard as Britain strives to reach the target of producing 15% of the UK’s energy demand by 2020 from renewable energy. There is an ever increase in advice, support and funding to encourage people and communities to use and build small scale renewables such as solar panels, photovoltaic panels, ground heat sumps etc and 2014 is predicted to be the year to push these through further.
Wearable Healthcare will make a real life appearance in 2014. We will soon be able to wear a high-tech bracelet which will count steps, sleep and calories allowing the user to upload, analyse and share their own health data but research and plans are also already in place to develop a Star Trek style Tricorder diagnostic device to diagnose up to 17 common health problems such as heart disease and diabetes etc This handheld scanning machine will be far less intrusive than the examinations we have to go through today and diagnosis will be instant. Video Link
Scandu Scout – Star Trek Style Tricorder
LG – Fitness Tracker
The Connected Home – the web is increasingly being used to connect things more than just our phones, tablets, laptops and TVs – we will be able to tell our SMART phone to turn off the lights and TV as we go out the door, we will be able to check on our empty properties via smart phones or tablets and we will be able to text to our fridge to see what we have in there for our tea or set the washing machine to run before we get home.
Virtual Reality will finally be realized in the form a headset which in using 3D printing, LCD and gyroscopes and accelerometers will deliver a super-immersive VR experience which could be sublime, educational, wacky, terrifying, awesome or erotic !
Oculus Rift – VR Now
There will be a lot of responsibility on the developers and we should also ask is it OK to create virtual worlds that are so alluring that their users won’t want to come back to reality?
Robots haven’t really had much effect on our daily life so far but NESTA believes that in 2014 we will see them becoming a bigger part of our lives in the form of self-driving cars – Volvo is introducing 100 driverless cars onto the public roads this year allowing them to drive in every day normal conditions and will even self-park. Their aim is to demonstrate the benefits of improved safety and efficiency of self-driving cars.
Robots will also increase their presence behind the scenes in factories and many other automated processes on a daily basis.
These are all predicted for 2014 ………………………
If you would like to read NESTA’s full predictions do read www.nesta.org.uk/news/14-predictions-2014
And if you want to read more about the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas have a look at www.cesweb.org
As a “thank you” for filling out the BIC’s Annual Customer Survey all entrants were put into a Prize Draw and this year’s winner is:
In Business Coaching Ltd
Ian is seen here being presented with a £25 High Street Voucher by the BIC’s Deputy Chief Executive Jackie Millward.
Ian was looking forward to buying something to brighten up his Christmas!
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