Head of Intellectual Property and Technology Law, Leader Arup Ventures
I’m a lawyer specialising in intellectual property and technology.
Arup’s consultancy model works well, but having to find a client to fund ideas can be limiting. I’ve had a longstanding interest in alternative ways for Arup to make a return from our creative and technical endeavours and I set up the venturing programme in 2012. By investing our own money in the our best ideas, the aim was to create a self-sustaining fund. We’re well on the way to doing that.
I now lead a talented ventures team based in the UK, and together we support other ventures teams in our offices across the globe. I combine the legal and venturing roles, speaking around the firm about the importance of intellectual property and exploring new ways to commercialise our work. I then advise on the legal structures to support our ventures.
Having spent five years as UKMEA Sustainability Director I’m an enthusiastic supporter of Arup’s drive to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of our business, and it’s important to me that each of our ventures has strong sustainability credentials.
With the rise of all things digital in the built environment, ventures has been the perfect platform to launch new business models. It offers entrepreneurial staff the chance to build skills in bringing products to market and running small businesses and enables us to combine the excitement of working in a start-up with the community and support available from working for a large organisation.
New joiners to Arup, grads and apprentices, are often enthusiastic about the chance to join an organisation that offers this sort of experience and we are looking to expand the proportion of revenue generated by venturing.