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Enterprise & Innovation


Feature


When the going gets tough, the tough get


innovating


History has shown that Birmingham is one of the most enterprising and innovative cities in the world – even when times are hard. From wars, economic crashes, mass unemployment and world-wide pandemics, inventors across the ‘City of a Thousands Trades’ have conceived and engineered some of our most iconic products. Dr Jagvir Purewal (pictured), senior associate at Forresters, talks about why, during the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ve seen a rise in patent applications.


been an increase in the number of people making enquiries about how they can protect their latest concepts and designs. At Forresters we are in the privileged position of


W


being able to work with entrepreneurs and designers from an early stage, and see their inventions take shape. In the last few months we saw a spike in enquiries from people and companies with a Covid-19 related design. During challenging times, like now, there are technical niches to be filled and new needs to


hen people have space to think, they often come up with their best ideas. So, it’s not surprising that during lockdown there has


be met. Often the inventions that come about during hard times aren’t just clever, they are ground-breaking. Birmingham has always been successful, because


its people have the ability to transform and adapt to constant change. Here are five examples of innovative ideas, from


the last three centuries, that came out of Birmingham at times of crisis: • Photocopiers: In 1779 Britain was fighting the American War of Independence. However, this was the same year that James Watt patented a ‘letter copying machine’ along with a special ink. He created a way to make photocopies, and the


October 2020 CHAMBERLINK45


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