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British Library Exhibition “Inventing the 21st Century” Celebrates Ingenious Britons

“Inventing the 21st Century: Celebrating British Ingenuity” Open 6 September – 28 November 2010 Free / Folio Society Gallery

In celebration of British ingenuity, “Inventing the 21st Century” will uncover the stories behind 15 of the most groundbreaking British inventions from this century’s first decade and highlight the role of innovation in driving economic recovery.

With economic growth dependent on the nation’s ability to innovate and diversify, Britain’s inventors have a key role to play in developing the new products and services that will drive recovery. Looking to stimulate creativity and encourage innovative thinking across the UK, “Inventing the 21st Century” traces the journey behind 15 British products developed over the last ten years, from the revolutionary Dyson Air Multiplier™ to President Obama’s favourite dog bowl, exploring how to turn that spark of inspiration into a sensational commercial success.

Every year the UK generates over 25,000 patents, trademarks, and design rights for new products and services. As part of the celebration of British ingenuity the British Library has conducted research, using the number of patents, trademarks and designs rights as a core indicator of new product development, to reveal the UK’s most innovative region. Although London consistently tops the table with regard to pure numbers, responsible for roughly 25% of all UK patents, trademarks and design rights, over the last 10 years the North East beats the capital to the top of the innovation index, generating more per person, per pound invested in R&D, than any other region.

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