A piece by Partner Nicholas Fox and Technical Assistants Daniel Johnston and Grace Heredge Thomas has been featured in The Law Society Gazette, giving an insight into the challenges that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) presents to English patent litigators.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

The UPC is a new court which has been established to provide a forum for hearing disputes over unitary patents which provide patent protection extending over 17 EU member states. In addition, the UPC has jurisdiction to enforce and revoke patents granted by the European patent office in force in those member states. Prior to the establishment of the UPC, enforcement of such patents could only take place on a country-by country basis and one of the main rationales for the new court was to remove duplication of enforcement proceedings.

In the first few months of its existence, filing figures at the UPC have been robust with over 100 already having been filed at the court. In contrast, the volume of patent litigation in the English courts has been falling in recent years, whereas 85 cases were filed with the English Patents Court in 2017, that number fell to only 35 last year with a similar number of cases expected to be filed this year.

This puts English patent solicitors in a quandary. The English Patents court was a forum of choice for settling high profile international patent disputes, with the highly competent patent judges and rigorous testing of expert evidence through cross-examination making the English courts a preferred venue for challenging the validity of granted patents. The initial signs of success for the UPC indicate that this position is likely to be challenged. The rules of procedure for the UPC were designed by cherry-picking the best aspects of English and European court litigation with a view to making the court as suitable as possible for hearing patent disputes. Through greater emphasis on documentary evidence and a more targeted approach to cross-examination, the costs of litigation in the UPC are expected to be significantly lower than in the English Patents Court. At the same time, the rules do provide for a much stronger role for the presentation and challenge of expert evidence than in the case in main continental court systems.

Further, one of the attractions of the UPC is that it is expected that a significant proportion of the litigation conducted in the new court will be in English. Actions to revoke a patent are required to be brought in the language in which a patent was prosecuted which in around 80% of cases is English. Litigants normally have a choice of languages to use when enforcing a patent in the UPC, but in almost all cases litigating in English will be an option and in a recent case brought in the Dutch division of the UPC, the court acceded to a defendant’s request to change the language of proceedings from Dutch to English on the grounds that would be of assistance to a defendant based in Spain.

Unfortunately, most English patent solicitors will be locked out from this new court system. The UPC only permits lawyers qualified in the EU to litigate before the court and requires such lawyers to hold EU nationality. Following Brexit and the UK’s departure from the EU, only a handful of English lawyers have the right to litigate in the new court, typically through a fortuitous combination of ancestry and cross-qualification as lawyers in Ireland.

The situation of English solicitors is in marked contrast to that of UK patent attorneys. Virtually all UK patent attorneys are qualified to act before the European Patent Office – a patent granting organization based in Munich and the Hague which as it was established under a treaty which was separate from the founding treaties of the European Union has been unaffected by Brexit. Over 970 UK patent attorneys, representing about a third of patent attorneys based in the UK have registered to act before the UPC on the basis rights to conduct litigation acquired pre-Brexit. Unlike lawyers appearing before the court, there are no restrictions that attorneys must have EU nationality.

In the face of dwindling numbers of patent disputes being heard in the English Patents Court, this cadre of patent attorneys presents English patent solicitors with an opportunity. Historically, patent attorneys have only had a supporting role in English patent litigation with almost all English based litigation being overseen by solicitors specialising in patent law. Patent attorneys have, however, long represented clients in opposition proceedings before the European patent office which enable third parties to challenge the grant of patents. Such opposition proceedings are heavily influenced by civil law approaches to litigation in Europe and share many similarities with revocation proceeding before the UPC. The challenge facing English patent litigators will be how to leverage this cadre of patent attorneys qualified to litigate in the UPC in order to capture a share of UPC litigation market.

Mathys & Squire has filed a test case to secure public access to evidence in the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Commentary provided by Mathys & Squire has been featured in JUVE Patent, Law 360, Managing IP, The Patent Lawyer and World Intellectual Property Review.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

Mathys & Squire has brought a test case to try to improve the transparency of the operations of the UPC.[1]

The Unified Patent Court Agreement requires that proceedings before the court are to be open to the public unless the Court decides to make them confidential in the interests of the parties, affected persons or in the general interest of justice or public order.[2]

It was for that purpose that, throughout the drafting process of the Court’s rules of procedure, provision was made that written pleadings and evidence would be accessible by third parties on request.

Two recent decisions[3] of the Central Division of the UPC, have, however, interpreted the Rules of Procedure in a restrictive manner limiting access to third parties who the Court considers can demonstrate that they have a “concrete and verifiable, legitimate reason” to access documents filed with the court. In practice, this means most if not all members of the public will be unable to access evidence and pleadings pending before the court.

We consider that the way that the Central Division has interpreted the Rules of Procedure is wrong.

It is in the public interest that the public can inform themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of cases pending before the UPC so that they can make commercial decisions about the patents which are being sought to be revoked or enforced in the Court. Further we consider that openness and transparency is vital in order for the public to be able to hold the court to account.

The principles of openness and transparency in Court proceedings and the rights of third parties to access public documents are well established principles in International and European law. Many European courts provide third parties with free access to pleadings and evidence filed with their courts.

Indeed, the European Patent Office, which has the power to revoke European and Unitary Patents after grant in opposition proceedings is a paragon of openness in this respect as all pleadings and written evidence filed in such proceedings is made available for download from the European patent register subject only to narrowly defined exceptions where confidentiality is required to protect personal or confidential information.[4]

In view of the importance of this matter, Mathys & Squire have filed a test case asking the Central Division to reconsider its restrictive approach. Mathys & Squire have also filed to intervene in an Appeal where a party is seeking to overturn the decision of a judge in the UPC’s Nordic-Baltic division to permit a third party to obtain copies evidence and pleadings.

Copies of the pleading we have submitted to the Central Division can be accessed here.

In the cases being brought, Mathys & Squire are being represented by Nicholas Fox and Alexander Robinson, partners from our London office, and Andreas Wietzke, a partner from our Munich office.

[1] The case is pending application APP_588681/2023

[2] Article 45 of the Unified Patent Court Agreement

[3] Order no. 550152 in ACTION NUMBER: ACT_459505/2023 issued 20 September 2023 (UPC number UPC_CFI_1/2023) & Order no. 552745 in ACTION NUMBER: ACT_464985/2023 issued on 21 September 2023 (UPC number UPC_CFI_75/2023).

[4] Article 128 EPC and Rules 144-147 EPC.

A piece by Managing Associate Laura Clews has been featured in Volume 2 of the Sustainable Food Digest by Food Matters Live, giving an insight into patents related to environmentally friendly food packaging.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

Due to their low cost of manufacture, versatility and durability, plastics quickly became an established material for packaging food and drink products. However, there has been a growing concern around the disposal of these non-biodegradable materials. Food and drink packaging formed 83% of household plastic waste produced in the UK in 2022, and of the 2.5 million metric tons of plastic waste generated in 2021, only 44% was recycled. The remainder is typically sent to incinerators and controlled landfills, which do not provide a long-term solution for ever increasing amounts of waste.

Consumers are therefore calling for the use of more environmentally friendly packaging which can degrade without releasing toxins. Manufacturers must ensure that packaging material has sufficient strength to contain and protect the product through its transport, storage and distribution. In the food and drink industry, it is also imperative that materials do not leach any undesirable chemicals into/onto the product. Additionally, packaging must provide a suitable water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) and oxygen permeability coefficient as the amount of moisture and oxygen present can affect the shelf life of the product. Producing cost-effective packaging is also important as most consumers are only willing to pay a small premium for environmentally friendly products.

Fortunately, the food and drink industry has risen to this challenge and many new and innovative packaging materials have been developed in recent years.

Edible Packaging

The concept of edible packaging and containers is not new – Italo Marchiony’s patent directed to a mould for ice cream cups was granted in 1903. However, many of the latest developments in edible packaging have centred around nutritious seaweed. At the London Marathon 2019, runners were offered “Oohho” by Notpla, edible seaweed pouches filled with a sports drink, in a bid to replace 200,000 single use plastic bottles. The capsules can be bitten to release the liquid inside and if the consumer prefers not to eat the seaweed film, it will naturally break down within 4 to 6 weeks once discarded.

Notpla’s patent application (GB 2,612,816) teaches that the edible membranes are produced by extracting a cellulose polymer from seaweed which is then pumped through a die to create two ribbons or films. The desired liquid is then injected between the two ribbons/films which are subsequently sealed.

Evoware have also utilised seaweed to produce edible packaging, creating containers, straws, cutlery, and even edible Ello Jello cups. These are formed by hydrating seaweed to create a slurry which is then cast and dried in the required form (WO 2014/108887).

As an alternative approach to edible containers, Italian designer Enrique Luis Sardi produced a new coffee cup for Lavazza in 2003. The design comprised a pastry dough molded into the form of a cup and a patented icing sugar coating on the inner surface, creating a waterproof barrier whilst also sweetening the coffee it contained. The cookie cup can be consumed after use, which could eliminate some of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups used each year in the UK, and provide a delightful snack.

Other Food-Based Packaging

For most adults, coffee is not simply a drink choice, but an essential for day-to-day life. It has been reported that in the UK, 500,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds are produced every year, most of which ends up on landfill sites. Fortunately, Kaffeeform, has found a way to repurpose this waste, creating durable cups formed from recycled coffee grounds and other plant-based resources that are hardened with biopolymers.

Thermoplastic Cellulose

Some companies have turned to plant power to create environmentally friendly packaging materials similar to plastics, including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, who have developed a thermoplastic cellulose material.

As the most abundant renewable organic polymer, the use of cellulose as a packaging material is highly desirable. However, it cannot be thermally processed and is virtually insoluble in traditional solvents. In order to impart thermoplastic properties, modification of cellulose is required. In the patent application filed by VTT (WO 2016/193542), the physical and chemical properties of a thermoplastic cellulose material are achieved by decreasing the molar mass of raw cellulose using a hydrolysis process and a long chain fatty acid modification. The material formed can reportedly be moulded to a desired shape using heat and processed using traditional plastic treatment processes. These materials are reported to be mechanically strong, provide excellent WVTR properties, and good heat-sealability.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)

PHAs are a class of bio-derived, biodegradable polymers which have tuneable properties ranging from rigid-brittle to rubber. They are compostable thermoplastics, and include natural polyesters produced by bacterial fermentation of sugar, glucose, or vegetable oil feedstock. The versatility of PHAs makes them a suitable candidate for a wide range of applications, providing a viable alternative to fossil fuel-derived plastics. Cambridge Consultants have developed a range of food and drink containers and utensils formed from PHAs.

The global biodegradable packaging market reached over $440 billion in 2021 and is expected to continue to increase. In addition, the global consumable packaging market was valued at $697 million in 2016 and is on track to reach $1.10 billion in 2023. As the development of more environmentally friendly packaging materials has the potential to create significant revenue for manufacturers, it is unsurprising that companies at the forefront of this research are looking to protect their intellectual property in advance of any product launch.

The United Nations’ 28th Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP28) will run from 30 November – 12 December 2023 at Expo City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The conference brings together politicians, activists, citizens, and business representatives from over 190 countries to set the course for the future of the green economy.

According to the United Nations (UN), “climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared.” Therefore, it is no surprise that COP28 is set to be one of the largest and most important international gatherings of 2023, with over 70,000 delegates expected to attend, including heads of state and leaders from 197 countries around the world.

Since the inception of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, UN member countries have been committed to keeping average global temperature rises around 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels and strengthening the world’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change.

COP28 will present an opportunity to achieve further progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. The COP28 agenda will also be focused on four additional ‘paradigm shifts.’

1) Fast tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030

COP28 aims to significantly reduces emissions and builds on the progress made during previous summits. In particular, COP28 aims to accelerate mitigation efforts to develop decarbonisation strategies aligned with the Paris Agreement, implement carbon market and non-market approaches to attract investments, ensuring a faster transition towards a fossil-free energy system.

The COP28 Presidency, in partnership with global state and industry collaborators, is advancing a comprehensive energy plan in alignment with scientific recommendations. This plan includes a focus on tripling renewable energy capacity, reducing oil and gas emissions, transitioning high-emission sectors to low-carbon technologies, promoting fossil-free transportation, and accelerating the phaseout of unabated coal power, while encouraging action, transparency, and accountability from companies and countries in line with global standards.

2) Deliver old promises and set the framework for a new deal on finance

According to the COP28 Presidency, finance is essential for climate action, especially in developing countries, but the current financial system is inadequate to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, as those will require over $2.4 trillion annually by 2030. COP28 will urge the leaders of the developed countries to fund the Green Climate Fund, double adaptation finance by 2025, and scaleup adaptation efforts.

COP28 will aim to establish a new financial architecture, promoting dialogue on finance principles and reforming international financial institutions. This approach also seeks innovative solutions to mobilise private capital through regulatory reforms and voluntary carbon markets, accelerating climate progress in developing nations.

3) Put nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action

COP28 will focus on addressing the impacts of climate change by prioritising adaptation, enhancing adaptation finance and ensuring support for those facing severe climate impacts. The conference emphasises a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) framework, which aims to promote efforts on nature, food, health, water, and relief, and champions conservation and adaptation, highlighting the roles of women and indigenous peoples, while addressing climate-related humanitarian and security challenges through initiatives like Early Warnings for All and the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership.

4) Mobilise for the most inclusive COP

COP28 will prioritise inclusivity, collaborating with diverse groups for active participation, emphasising gender balance, and promoting indigenous peoples’ access to finance. The Youth Climate Champion, Minister Shamma Al Mazrui, strengthens youth engagement through initiatives like the International Youth Delegates program, calling for continued support. The COP28 program embraces innovation and inclusivity, addressing various topics, and urges commitment to multilevel partnerships.

COP28 will set the course for the future of the green economy, and the four paradigm shifts will serve as a blueprint for the immediate action that might expect from the leaders attending the conference. We also expect governments to continue to implement local policies to support innovation in cleantech. All solutions and innovative concepts helping to fulfil the green agenda and mitigate climate change should be protected, and the best way to do so is with help of intellectual property rights.

At Mathys & Squire, we work with many cleantech clients on green technology breakthroughs and sustainable solutions. We are pleased to partner with companies and inventors who are addressing climate change and whose initiatives further the objectives set forth by COP28.

We eagerly await the results of the COP28 summit to see how they will influence the future of the green economy.

Data and commentary provided by Mathys & Squire has featured in an article by The Trademark Lawyer and Solicitors Journal, giving an insight into the issues that companies face amidst the recent surge in AI legal cases.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

The surge in new artificial intelligence (AI) legal cases to decide if infringements arise when copyrighted data is used to train AI systems, suggests that intellectual property law will struggle to keep pace with the speed of AI developments, says leading intellectual property law firm, Mathys & Squire.

Companies are increasingly concerned about both the risks of intellectual property infringements and confidentiality issues when using AI. Companies are even urging their advisors, such as law firms and professional services firms, not to input any of their information into AI systems such as large language models (LLMs) amid fears of data leaks.

Lack of clarity on AI related copyright breaches

Mathys & Squire says that, as with the growth of the internet, AI is going to see both the courts and legislation struggle to provide businesses clear direction on rapidly developing law relating to AI.

Clear infringements occur if generative AI systems are directly reproducing copyrighted information. However, it is unclear whether copyright infringements arise when the AI system producing them has been trained on this copyrighted information.

AI LLMs are fed massive amounts of data so that the model can automatically return results, which could be copyrighted material. This is creating confusion for owners of copyrighted material who want to protect their intellectual property rights.

Andrew White, Partner at Mathys & Squire says, “AI is creating a multitude of new challenges and questions in relation to intellectual property. Many legal cases are ongoing as individuals seek clarification on what their rights and responsibilities are. Companies with copyrighted material and AI companies themselves are in urgent need of clarification.”

Recent legal cases regarding AI copyright disputes include:

Some tech firms themselves have already taken action to provide clarity on the issue. Microsoft said it will take legal responsibility if customers get sued for copyright breaches while using its AI Copilot platform. Google has also reassured users of its AI tools on Cloud and Workspace platforms that it will defend them from copyright claims.

Companies fearful of AI data leaks

AI also presents serious potential confidentiality risks to companies. As data is stored in the cloud, data leaks can occur even if companies use their own private AI systems to safeguard against information being shared outside of their organisation.   

Italy had previously banned ChatGPT over data protection concerns in April 2023 before reversing its ban later that month. Apple has restricted its employees from using AI tools over fears that confidential data could be leaked to outside sources.

Adds Andrew White, “It is important to have safeguards in place to ensure that confidential information is not input into these AI systems. Given the enormous risks, companies have made formal requests to their professional advisors like law firms and management consultants not to enter any of their information into AI systems.”

High-profile examples show that the entering confidential information into AI can have serious consequences. These include:

Leading intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire has confirmed a round of promotions for equity Partners, Partners, and Managing Associates. The commentary provided by Mathys & Squire has featured in an article by The Patent Lawyer and The Solicitors Journal.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

Max Thoma and Andrea McShane have been promoted to Partner from Managing Associate.

Caroline Warren, Craig Titmus, Stephen Garner and Juliet Redhouse have all been promoted within the partnership.

Alan MacDougall, HR Partner at Mathys & Squire, says: “These promotions are part of our strategy to recognise and reward the array of talent that we have at the firm.

All those promoted have played a crucial role in our growth and we are delighted they will become an even more integral part of Mathys & Squire in the future.

These promotions together with our recent senior hires of Helen Cawley, to head our trade mark practice, and solicitor Nicholas Fox, to strengthen our litigation practice, demonstrate the continued growth and development of our senior leadership team.

Data and commentary provided by Mathys & Squire has featured in an article by The Patent Lawyer and Solicitors Journal, giving an insight into the system’s growth since its introduction.

An extended version of the press release is available below.

100 days on from the launch of Europe’s new patent courts system, 10,976 Unitary Patents have now been registered, says leading intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire. This shows just how quickly the new system has grown in just a matter of weeks since its introduction.

Under the Unified Patent Court (UPC), patent holders can obtain a single patent covering 17 European countries and enforce such patents and existing European patents in participating countries by filing a single claim under the regime of the UPC. Previously, organisations had to maintain separate patents in each individual country and could only enforce a patent in the country where that patent was registered. The new system significantly reduces this complexity making enforcing and maintaining patents in Europe easier.

Nicholas Fox, Partner at Mathys & Squire, says that the Unitary Patent system, which includes the new UPC, has already been successful in positioning itself as the new system of patent protection in Europe.

As well as the growing number of patents registered under the unitary system, the number of patent disputes heard in the new UPC is also gaining pace. 60 cases have already been filed in the court since it opened in June.

In comparison, only 33 patent cases have been filed so far this year in the High Court in London indicating that the total number of High Court patent cases is likely to be similar to the 35 filed in 2022, and significantly down on the 50 or so a year normally seen in recent years (52 cases in 2019, 51 cases 2020, 49 cases in 2021).

The UPC is Europe’s new system for patent enforcement, launched in June 2023 after being in planning for many years. The UPC is intended to introduce a uniform and more efficient patent litigation framework across the European Union and significantly reduce the cost and complexity involved in IP proceedings.

Says Nicholas Fox: “The launch of the UPC seems to be accelerating a trend that was already underway – the move of patent litigation away from the UK and towards Europe.”

“Brexit created the risk that the UK is becoming a secondary location for patent enforcement rather than a primary one.”

UK patent attorneys and the Unified Patent Court

Mathys & Squire explains that the UK is not part of the UPC system after leaving the European Union. However, almost all UK patent attorneys are also qualified as European patent attorneys and roughly a third of those have been able to register to have a right to conduct litigation before the new Court. This means that UK nationals constitute the second largest group of individuals with the right to practice before the UPC. This is despite Brexit having excluded UK solicitors from practising before the Court.

Only Germany (399 lawyers and 2,139 patent attorneys) has more IP professionals qualified to practise before the UPC than the UK (971 patent attorneys). The UK is significantly ahead of other similarly sized European countries such as France (93 lawyers, 446 patent attorneys) and Italy (124 lawyers, 322 patent attorneys) by this metric.

Owners opt 535,000 European patents out of the UPC

By default, all existing European patents granted by the European Patent Office are subject to the jurisdiction of the UPC. This potentially leaves such patents subject to revocation across multiple jurisdictions in a single revocation action. To address this, the UPC gives patent proprietors the right to opt such patents out of the jurisdiction of the new court.

Mathys & Squire says that owners have chosen to opt 535,000 patents out of the jurisdiction of the UPC. This represents approximately half of the total number of European patents in existence. Rates of opt-out have varied across technologies, reflecting the extent to which different industries consider central revocation to be a threat.

The areas with highest opt-out rates include pharmaceuticals (64% of patents opted out), textiles (64%) and organic chemistry (63%). Whereas the lowest opt-out rates are in respect of patents for engines (32%), semiconductors (34%) and mechanical elements (34%).

Despite many existing patents having been opted out from the UPC, that has not prevented revocation actions having been filed with the new court with 15 of the 60 cases filed to date being independent revocation actions against existing European patents.

As previously reported, the EPO’s ‘10-day rule’ will cease to exist from 1 November 2023.

From that date, EPO communications will be deemed to be delivered on the same date which they show, rather than 10 days later (as occurs at present). Thus, the date of a communication will be considered the date of notification and be decisive for determining the expiry of an applicable deadline. 

Please note this only applies to EPO communications dated on or after 1 November 2023.

As a safeguard against late delivery of communications, the EPO has introduced measures to extend deadlines in cases where delivery of a document is disputed, and it can be established that a document was delivered to the addressee more than seven days after the date it bears. The burden will be on the EPO to establish when the document was actually delivered. In addition, if the EPO is unable to prove that a document has been delivered, the document in question will be reissued with a new date, and that new date will be used to determine the expiry of an applicable deadline.

Those receiving reports of EPO communications from Mathys & Squire from 1 November onwards may notice our correspondence emphasises that the ‘10-day rule’ no longer applies.

The ‘10-day rule’ originated as a ‘buffer’ to take into account delays in receiving documents by post. The abolition of this rule is part of a wider strategy to support digital transformation in the patent grant procedure at the EPO.

If you have any questions about these changes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Mathys & Squire contact, or reach out to our team using our contact form here.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of new Partner Nicholas Fox.

Nicholas joins after four years in the London office of US IP specialist law firm Finnegan. Nicholas spent the previous eight years with Top 20 UK law firm Simmons & Simmons, where his primary focus was multi-jurisdictional patent litigation.

As an electronics, telecommunications and software expert, Nicholas has represented clients such as smartphone manufacturers, global software companies and pharmaceutical majors spanning multiple jurisdictions including Europe and Asia.

Nicholas is a respected voice in the intellectual property sector previously as a member of the Intellectual Property Regulation Board and currently as a member of the Joint Disciplinary Panel where he oversees complaints on breaches of the Patent and Trade Mark Attorney Code of Conduct.

Nicholas has also contributed to and written in many publications on patentability. He is a regular contributor to European Intellectual Property Review and most recently contributed to the Cambridge University Press’ The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence: Global Perspectives on Law and Ethics.

Alan MacDougall, Partner at Mathys & Squire says: “We are delighted to welcome Nicholas to the team. His addition will expand our intellectual property litigation offering and continue to help deliver quality and impactful work for our clients. We are confident that his extensive knowledge and experience will prove a long-term asset to us and our clients.”

Nicholas Fox says: “I am excited to be joining the Mathys & Squire team. The firm is renowned for its contentious IP work and I’m looking forward to adding my experience to what is already a strong practice.”

Nicholas is qualified as a solicitor in England, Wales and Ireland as well as an Attorney-at-Law in New York State, adding significant strength to Mathys & Squire’s IP litigation team.

This release has been published in the World Intellectual Property Review, JUVE Patent and the Solicitors Journal.

According to the 2017 UK Commission for Employment and Skills Report, there is an annual shortfall of 40,000 skilled STEM workers, with the number of technical jobs expected to increase in the future.

Whilst some students receive guidance and support from their families, friends, and schools that help nurture them into this field, the barriers to entry, that poverty and social backgrounds can create, restrict many others. Founded in 2010 by Dr. Rebecca McKelvey, In2ScienceUK is a socioeconomic charity that strives to tackle this issue by providing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with exciting opportunities to gain invaluable experience of STEM careers and research.

Mathys & Squire is proud to announce that we have recently partnered with In2Science in order to support their mission and will be sponsoring two students to go through the 2024 In2STEM programme.

By boosting diversity and inclusion across STEM sectors, In2Science looks to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of science, technology, engineering, and maths-based industries whilst helping young people to obtain high earning jobs and economic stability. Data shows that STEM workers typically earn 20% more than employees in other fields do. By exposing students from low-income backgrounds to these opportunities, In2Science leads the fight against economic inequality within this sector.

In2Science allows students to work with, and learn directly from, STEM professionals and researchers, benefitting from their skills, expertise, and passion. They do so by offering work placements, information skills sessions and careers workshops, and offer access to expert advice from leading STEM professionals and researchers, including guidance on further education and beyond.

The 2024 In2STEM programme connects disadvantaged students with experienced STEM professionals from different fields. Taking place during the summer holidays, Year 12 and 13 students will be able to access in-person and online opportunities such as work placements, skills and careers workshops, and interactive events.

The In2STEM programme team will collaborate closely with the host professionals to ensure an engaging and beneficial placement that allows students of all abilities and backgrounds to explore STEM beyond the classroom, develop crucial skills, and boost their applications for further education. To round off the programme, In2Science will host celebration events to recognise the hard work and success of the students and volunteers.

At Mathys & Squire, we believe giving back to the community is incredibly important, and the mission of In2Science is one that resonates with every member of our team. Our decision to sponsor two students to take part in the programme is done with the goal to help foster the development of disadvantaged students into the innovators of the future, so that they can achieve success in their chosen field and become pioneers themselves. We are thrilled to help shape the next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians, who will stand at the forefront of innovation and research.