By Max Clarke

A national survey has been launched to gather creative industry views on the role of intellectual property (IP) in emerging digital business models. The study, sponsored by the knowledge transfer network for the creative industries, aims to provide fresh insights into the way businesses view and understand IP.

A nationwide online study has been launched to look into creative industry views on IP and its impact on business models. The survey, which will also look into the funding challenges faced by innovative businesses, is being coordinated by the innovation directory www.inngot.com as part of a Beacon Project for the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network (CI KTN).

The survey comes at a time when the Government is placing IP policy and its relationship to growth under scrutiny. The study’s findings will be shared with the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, as well as contributing to the compilation of a final CI KTN report, due to be published by March 2011.

Via expert interviews and a series of workshops around the country, the Beacon Project on IP has already produced some important insights into the relationship between IP and the changing ways in which creative industry businesses make money, as the project’s leader Martin Brassell, Inngot CEO, explains:

“Falling technology costs, changes to advertising practices and new patterns of consumption all challenge the viability of ‘traditional’ creative industry business models. Creative companies are proving adept at using their IP to create new paths to revenue, often through “indirect” methods. However, these models are still young, and the marketplace is in a state of flux. As a result, many businesses are having to re-examine their cost bases and discover effective ways of collaborating, and are experiencing challenges securing the investment they need to grow.

“Our work with this project has been focused on establishing a positive vision of how companies can address these challenges. Ensuring that IP can be used as an enabler, not a barrier, has emerged as a key consideration. The survey is already generating a strong response, and will give us a clearer picture of the forces at work and the sector’s response to them.”

Jeremy Davenport, deputy director of the CI KTN, spoke further about the survey:

“The survey’s purpose is double edged for us. We’re keen to know how businesses within the creative industries are approaching intellectual property, but crucially we hope that participation will encourage creative industries to engage with a different way of thinking about IP. Attitudes towards IP are often conservative and this survey - in conjunction with our upcoming Beacon Report on IP and open source - is one step towards breaking down barriers that restrict creativity.”