Meet The Team – Ben Kirsch
Meet Ben Kirsch, Business Support Policy Advisor (Intellectual Property Office)
Tell me about your role.
I work with GBS LEP and its partners to build local capability to commercialise intellectual property (IP) – something that the government commits to in its Industrial Strategy under pillar 1: ‘investing in science, research and innovation.’ Broadly that means working to increase understanding among local businesses as to why IP is important and try to provide opportunities for them to exploit their knowledge assets for commercial gain. As part of this, I’m aiming to increase the ability of local business advisors to help businesses realise the potential value of their IP and exploring how IP audits can help our innovative businesses grow even faster.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with such a variety of partners. Given GBS LEP’s role in bringing together business, higher education and the public sector to help grow the economy there are so many different interests and opportunities that come into my work. IP is often considered niche, however in driving an increasingly knowledge based economy, its place in incentivising innovation and attracting investment is crucial. This means that whether its advanced manufacturing, life sciences, smart technologies, creative, or digital, IP is part of the picture and so I get to meet people doing some fascinating things that are going to transform our area.
What did you study at university and why?
I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter. I have always been fascinated by the beauty and complexity of life so my degree gave me the opportunity to appreciate this and really just scratch the surface! I went further in-depth around the field of molecular biology and genomics – an area that in the last few years has proven itself to have exciting medical potential. I think it’s great that the GBS LEP area has strengths in this area and who knows what the future holds with gene editing or therapy, personalised treatments for cancer and even new insights into our origins as a species.
What is your favourite place in the GBSLEP area and why?
I feel like I am only beginning to get to know this area. I live in south Birmingham and enjoy running through many of the parks in that part of the city. Alternatively, reading a good book in a coffee shop in Moseley is always nice!
If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
I’m going to assume this talk show can be aired at any time in history so I’d invite Martin Luther King Jr.. His strong values and his determination in the face of such prejudice I think remains an inspiration as to how to bring about political and social change.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I think probably the ability to fly like Superman – it would provide a much quicker, cheaper and far more exciting way to get around!