Academy planned to boost inventors’ lot

Industrial designers may reap rich rewards from a new Royal Academy of Invention which is hoping for patronage from the Prince of Wales.

The academy is the brainchild of Trevor Baylis, inventor of the Baygen clockwork radio which won a BBC Design Award (DW 12 July). Baylis has discussed his idea with the Prince and has the support of David Shaw MP.

He does not feel that the academy will be a threat to industrial designers. “It’ll be more work, not less, for them,” he explains.

“We’ll pay industrial design agencies for advice, guidance and design work,” Baylis continues. The academy would build up a network of consultants who would be paid out of corporate sponsorship for individual projects or from government funding.

“Designers would not need to become members of the academy, which is targeted at unskilled people with ideas. But designers would be very important players. They could advise and work on colour, shape and modern trends, for example,” says Baylis.

Baylis aims to turn the 75-year-old non-profit making Institute of Patentees and Inventors into the academy. “People could develop products in a confidential atmosphere, and be helped towards approaching a manufacturer with a reasonable proposal,” he says.

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