Monthly Archives: October 2011

Visit to the British Invention Show 2011

British_Invention_Show_logoAfter a couple of years absence I decided to re-visit the British Invention Show (BIS). For this year they had moved from the echoing halls of Ally Pally in north London, to the recently revamped Spitalfields market in east London.

For sixteen years Spitalfields  had been my regular lunchtime haunt, so I was curious to see how much it had changed since its rebuilding. The area now consists of a mixture of shiny new office buildings, trendy boutique stores and restaurants, as well as the traditional brick-a-brack and jewellery market stalls based in the old food market. The visit got off to an expensive start when allowed myself to be lured into a branch of Montezuma’s  chocolate shop and purchase a bar of Brighton’s best ethical chocolate ginger.

The British Invention Show exhibition space had been built underneath the market hall and was smaller than I was expecting. However, once inside the material ‘roof’ meant you forgot about the market outside and concentrated on the exhibiting stands.

As in previous years the number of British inventors was really quite small, compared to those from abroad, especially from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. There were even a few from Iran.

However, as in the past there were still a few exhibitors who made the trip worthwhile for me.

An additional incentive for going along was an opportunity to meet Tara Roskell writes two excellent blogs – graphic design blog and Ideas Uploaded, about inventing and licensing. She interviewed me December last year, so it was nice to finally get to meet her in person. We teamed up to question the more interesting inventors at the show, and you can read her critical review of the exhibition (British Invention Show 2011 Hit or Miss).

MIBA_barcelona_logoFirst on the list was a set of intriguing ‘inventions’ from the Museum of Ideas & Inventions Barcelona (MIBA). These included:
–    A dining plate with a mirror in the middle (to help those on a diet)
–    Fluorescent dog biscuits (to help pedestrians avoid putting a foot wrong in the dog poo blighted streets of Barcelona)
–    A floor mop with a built in microphone (for those ‘X-factor’ moments while washing the floor)
–    A single bed with a ‘home and away’ score board (unknown dubious purpose)

Pep_Torres

It turned out that many of these wacky inventions were the brainchild of famous Spanish designer and promoter Pep Torres. They are not intended for production but to stimulate visitors to be creative themselves. Children who visit the museum are encouraged to draw their inventions, and each month the best ones are awarded a patent by the Spanish patent office.

Our guide to the MIBA stand – something of a miniature version of the museum located in central Barcelona, was passionate about this new venture. And explained each of the real and imaginary inventions with great enthusiasm (with the notable exception of the Single Bed which she seemed rather embarrassed about).

As Tara and I were leaving she offered us a red pill from a large glass bowl. I assumed this was the traditional exhibition freebie sweet, so was rather surprised when she stopped me swallowing, it and insisted I open it up to reveal a rolled up paper business card.

She responded to our puzzled expressions by referring to the famous scene in the Matrix film; After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Freedman_chairThe other highlight for me was meeting the enthusiastic inventor of the  FreedMan Chair – Simon Freedman.

He is an osteopath by profession and and has spent many years and even more prototypes developing his unique solution to lower back pain.

I have to admit it does look a bit weird, but having never regreted spending £800 on Scandinavia’s finest ergonomic seating in the shape of an RH Logic 400 over ten years ago, any chair that relieves back pain is worth investigating.

Simon explained that his seat does not need cushions because we all come equiped with inbuilt human cushioning

The concavity of the FreedMan seat pads provides support around the ischial tuberosities in such a way that the need for padding is reduced and even eliminated.

Located around the tuberosities are the ischial fat pads and further out are the buttock muscles. The concavity of the seat pads around the tuberosities supports these structures and hence the body provides its own cushioning. In chairs with flat seat pads, the pointy tuberosities push through the surrounding layers, which soon causes discomfort.

You can read much more technical information about the development of the FreedMan Chair on his website.

It was great to hear that Simon is a fan of the Business & IP Centre and has been a regular visitor as his chair developed.

I look forward to hearing much more about this exciting re-invention of the chair.

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011 is on its way

GEW logo We have had some excellent events during Global Entrepreneurship Weeks over the past few years (Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010).

And it looks like this year will be just as good. It will run from 14 to 18 November, and includes Speed mentoring sessions and Question Time for Entrepreneurs.

Speed mentoring

Each day we’ll be running informal half-day networking sessions. The Centre will be full of business experts and successful entrepreneurs who you can talk with informally and get advice.

The themes for this year are:

Monday – Absolute Beginners

Tuesday – IP & Innovation

Wednesday – Women in Business

Thursday – Marketing Maestros

Friday – Make It, Sell It!

The speed mentoring sessions run from 10.00am – 13.00pm and 14.00pm – 17.00pm and are free.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Question Time for Entrepreneurs

   

Photos: Tim Campbell,  Lara Morgan and Vernon W. Hill II

Our special evening event will give you the opportunity to question some of the most successful and influential people in British business today. Speakers include Emma Bridgewater, Lara Morgan, Vernon W. Hill II and former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell. A networking reception will follow the event.

Business Startup Show

Join us on stand 412 at the Business Startup Show in Earls Court on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November! Along with our partners, Business Plan Services, Trademark Direct and Grow, members of the Business & IP Centre team will be on hand to explain how we can help kick-start your business.

Find out more about Global Entrepreneurship Week.

‘Absolute Beginners’ day

The essentials you’ll need to get going in business – finance, market research and business planning.

‘IP & Innovation’ day

Meet experts who can help you innovate and stay creative as well as protecting your ideas

‘Women in business’ day

Meet a whole host of female entrepreneurs, from the big names to women that are just getting started.

‘Marketing Maestros’ day

Find out how to improve your brand and marketing strategy on the Marketing Maestros day in Global Entrepreneurship Week.

‘Make It, Sell It!’ day

Meet craft experts to help you grow and develop your business.

Question Time for Entrepreneurs

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Question Time for Entrepreneurs

Dana Levy Bags & Jewellery Design – another Success Story

evil_eyeMy colleague Julie Simkin has written this post on one of her success stories:

I always get excited when I hear from one of my Business Start-Up clients and hear that their business is doing well. This was the case last week when I heard from Dana Levy. I first met with Dana in November 2009 when her business was established, but Dana felt it was the right time to grow and expand into new areas.

When I asked Dana about her experiences with the Business & IP Centre she said:

‘The Business and IP Centre has been very useful in helping me move forward with my business. As well as using the library’s extensive research facilities, I have also had one to one sessions with their knowledgeable Information specialist , Julie Simpkin, and also I had  a one to one session with an ex- ‘Dragon’. These sessions were really useful as they were personal and tailored to my business needs.

The Business & IP Centre also organises really interesting lectures, events and workshops. The most recent workshop I was lucky enough to attend was on Social Networking by Kimberley Davis who featured on the Apprentice a few years ago. She was absolutely brilliant – Very informative and delivered her presentation in such a fun and interesting way.’

Dana_Levy_Backgammon_Roll_Mandala_Blue

Designer Dana Levy grew up in London and has been designing handmade jewellery and accessories for over 10 years. Her creative journey began by spending long summers in the spiritual city of Jerusalem, which then lured her to relocate there and complete a Fine Arts degree at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design. It was while she was based there for 7 years, immersed in Jerusalem’s rich culture and beauty, that her inspiration for designing jewellery and accessories truly began.

Once back in London, the Dana Levy brand began with yoga & meditation accessories using beautiful silk damask fabrics found on her travels in the Middle East. Those damask fabrics soon became her trademark across all of the lifestyle accessories ranging from yoga & meditation accessories, to backgammon travel rolls and tote & evening bags. The careful selection of luxurious materials matched uniquely with symbolic charms is an expression of the ancient and modern worlds coming together.

As soon as the Dana Levy lifestyle range was established, the designer started her jewellery lines inspired by the exotic sights and traditions from the Middle East. All of Dana’s jewellery pieces are handmade and incorporate semi-precious gemstones, Czech glass beads and beautiful charms, amulets and talismans that have spiritual meaning, such as the ‘Hamsa’ hand, a symbol for good luck, and the Evil Eye, a symbol for protection.

All collections are designed by Dana and hand-made using the highest quality materials exclusively sourced from around the world, including the Middle East and Russia.

Dana Levy’s unique pieces have been featured in fashion magazines all around the world such as Vogue, Red, Grazia, and Elle to name just a few. They are also firm favourites with fashion editors and stylists alike.

http://www.danalevy.co.uk/

Dana_Levy_Diamante_Friendship_Bracelets_Pyramid_Oct2011

Create your elevator pitch with Amber Raney-Kincade

CN_Tower_lift

Photo by Abdou.W

You step into a lift and someone asks “What do you do?” They are getting off in a few floors, so you only have seconds to gain their interest and pass off your business card. How will they remember you? Amber Raney-Kincade’s workshop is dedicated to creating your specific elevator pitch. You will leave this seminar with a pitch you can begin using immediately.

I attended this workshop yesterday at the City Business Library near the Barbican as part of my journey to create the perfect elevator pitch for the Business & IP Centre (How elevated is your pitch?) Read on to see if I have succeeded.

I have included Amber’s description of her workshop in full above, as it is a wonderful example of a pitch in its own right.

I have decided for this workshop review to try and give an insight into the process. So I am going to include my working notes for my pitch, along with the topics covered by Amber.

1. The five W’s and H are common approaches when first tackling a business related problem, and are used here:

Who is the subject of the elevator pitch?
The British Library Business & IP Centre
What does the person or business do?
We provide information, training and support for inventors and start-up business.
Where does the business or service operate?
We are located within the British Library at St Pancras in north London. Next door to Kings Cross.
When is the service available?
We are open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 8pm (5pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
Why offer the product or service?
We want to make use of our existing information to make the British Library more useful to inventors and start-up business.
How does the product or service work?
We give free on-site access to millions of pounds of market research reports, directories, trade journals, company databases, with workshops and free advice clinics.

2. Understand the pains of your customers, so you can present your solutions to their problems.
For the Business & IP Centre customers this includes a lack of knowledge of:
o    Their market place
o    Their competitors
o    Relevant legislation
o    Intellectual Property protection
o    Facts to back up their gut feelings
o    How to prioritise

3. Next Amber made us look at the components of our business or service
What is the service, product, company etc?
Information, training and support for inventors and start-up business.
What problems does it solve?
Inventors and start-up business need to know more about their market place, their competitors, relevant legislation, Intellectual Property  protection, facts to back up their gut feelings and how to prioritise.
How am I different?
We hold the largest collection of freely available market research and business information in the world. We understand the role of intellectual property in protecting a start-up or growing business.
Why should your customers care?
So you don’t waste time and money, and make the right decisions for your business.

4. Amber showed us how to structure a pitch. It needs to:
–    Have a hook
–    Be straightforward (especially no jargon)
–    Establish credibility (name drop if possible)
–    Show passion for what you are doing
–    Be about informing, not bragging about you or your business
–    Not be all about you – needs to be about their needs – not yours

5. Then you need to think about background information
Who are your competitors now (be honest and realistic)?
o    For the Business & IP Centre we have partners and competitors in the shape of other business libraries, Business Link and local authority enterprise agencies.
­Who are you not like?
o    We are not patent attorneys giving legal advice
o    We do not provide incubation space
o    We don’t register companies or trademarks
­ What are your Unique Selling Points?
o    The depth and breadth of our content.
o    Our specialist knowledge and expertise.
o    Our combination of business and intellectual property knowledge.
­ What is your motivation / objectives?
o    To help inventors and individuals start and grow successful businesses.
o    To contribute to the growth of the UK economy.
­ Who is your idea client?
o    Inventors and early stage business start-ups

5. Amber ran through lots of good, bad and indifferent real examples of elevator pitches she has come across. This lead to a heated debate amongst the attendees, but with broad agreement of which was best and why.

6. We then had five minutes to come up with a pitch, which we presented to the room. The next twenty minutes consisted of a lively session where we helped each other improve our pitches.

7. Finally Amber gave us a formula to apply in the unlikely event that we had not managed to produce a suitable pitch during the workshop.

 

So after all that work, here is my shiny new pitch:

Are you ready to take the leap to start your own business?

At the Business & IP Centre in the British Library we provide free information, workshops and advice on your markets, competitors, legislation and in fact pretty much anything you need to start or grow your business.

Please let me know what you think, and how it could be improved.

Thanks again to Amber for a great workshop.

Amber_Raney-Kincade

http://www.raney-kincade.co.uk/Raney-Kincade/Home.html

http://ninfield.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/how-elevated-is-your-pitch/

Baby Beamers another Success Story for the Business & IP Centre

Baby_Beamers_esther_smallBirgitte Lydum recently got in contact with some lovely comments about her experiences of using the Business & IP Centre.

I first went to British Library’s IP & Business Centre in 2009, when I realised that I needed help with pretty much everything to do with my business idea – a multi-configuration pram cover. I’d just moved past the point where I thought a good product idea was enough, and had realised that I was going to need to educate myself on many levels, before even hoping to succeed getting the product on the market.

So I signed up for seminars on the subjects of intellectual property, business plans, market research, marketing, business finance, a one-on-one with an invention specialist, a one-on-one with a successful entrepreneur, and three hours of free market research with a full report delivered to me – just to mention a few of the amazing services available. I also attended several brilliant networking events listening to and meeting various well known and inspirational entrepreneurs. Many of the people I’ve met at these events, fellow business owners I’m still in contact with today.

Baby_Beamers_logoI was blown away by the quality of the seminars, the staff’s helpfulness, and the amount of information available to me, all for free. I had no idea that there was so much to learn in this wonderful building, buzzing with ideas, creativity, enthusiasm and determination. A bit annoyed with myself for not discovering the place earlier I decided to go there whenever possible, to focus, to learn and to develop my business in the best possible way.

One day, when preparing my patent application in the quiet, clean and comfortable computer area of the centre, I was encouraged by a staff member to try a one-to-one with one of their Information Specialists, who in my case turned out to be Julie Simpkin. It’s without a doubt one of the best decisions I was to make for helping my business materialise. In just one hour Julie taught me so much more about what I wanted from my business than I’d ever be able to learn by myself, from a book or the internet.

For me, she had the effect of a really good business/life coach. We discussed my ideas for the product and the business, and gave me a lot of constructive and sincere encouragement. Julie was the one to suggest that I separated the company name (Baby Beamers) from the product name (SunSnoozer, instead of Baby Beamers Pram Cover), in case I wanted to add more products later. Good practical advice like all the other nuggets of brilliant advice I left with. She made me commit to my goals there and then by getting me to sign a to-do list for our next meeting, and I floated away from there, head and notebook crammed with new ideas, and a much better and clearer understanding of what it was that I wanted from my business.

Baby_Beamers_esther_and_birgitte

Baby Beamers

Baby Beamers Ltd was founded by Danish designer Birgitte Lydum, when she realised that a pram sun cover she had invented to protect her baby against the sun and make it easier for her to sleep, filled a gap in the market. After numerous prototypes, extensive market research and product testing the SunSnoozer is now available to buy. Other products to help make life easier for new parents are in development.

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Baby Beamers:

  • Encourages better sleep by eliminating bright light and visual distractions.
  • Allows constant view of baby, while still eliminating direct sun or wind.
  • 7 different configurations allow full protection no matter the wind/sun’s direction.
  • Easy access – no need to detach cover when lifting baby in and out of pram.
  • Can be left on the pram, saving valuable storage space. Machine washable.
  • Fits easily under rain covers, mosquito nets and any other pram accessories.
  • UPF 50+ (click HERE for test details, and further info on baby sun protection).
  • The ultimate no fuss, all-season, all-round pram accessory for new parents.

British Library and the Open Innovation Project – Working with others to make new ideas fly

My colleague Nigel Spencer reports on an exciting new project at the British Library:

Working with others to make new ideas fly is the strap-line for a European Union funded project to promote open innovation principles across the North West Europe region.  The British Library is a partner in this three year project along with partners from France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and other parts of the UK.

OIlogo_text

openinnovationproject.co.uk

The concept of open innovation is simply that by being open to external input you are more likely to develop innovative and successful products or services. This is because it is unlikely that any single organisation will have all the skills, knowledge, experience and perspectives needed in-house. Open innovation covers a range of types of activity including crowd-sourcing, co-creation and includes activities with varying levels of openness and transparency.

Stefan Lindegaard from 15inno says that people should view  open innovation as ‘a philosophy or a mindset that they should embrace within their organization. This mindset should enable their organization to work with external input to the innovation process just as naturally as it does with internal input’.

Examples of organisations that have applied open innovation are:  ‘Orange, Procter & Gamble, Boots, Lego and Virgin Atlantic.

There are a number of perceived and genuine barriers and challenges which prevent businesses of all sizes from taking the leap to applying open innovation principles; Some of these challenges are:

  •  How to make the contacts needed with external organisations and people and develop long-term mutually beneficial relationships. This a particular concern if businesses are of differing sizes.
  • How to overcome the internal organisational cultures which may be uncomfortable with the kind of openness, transparency and perceived loss of direct control which are involved in applying these ideas.
  • How to protect ideas and creative outputs when these are being shared and an uncertainty as to how intellectual property fits into an open innovation environment.

On 29 November the British Library is hosting a half-day conference which looks at these challenges head on.  It is called ‘Open Innovation: The Challenges & Solutions’. We have brought together a great selection of experts and practitioners from organisations like 100% Open, Creative Barcode, Procter and Gamble and Quantum Innovation Centre to debate these issues.

More information and booking on the event, and you can follow the Open Innovation Project on Twitter at @OIProject

Inspiring Entrepreneurs Media Maestros – 12 October

Matthew_RockJust back from a great Inspiring Entrepreneurs event, Media Maestros chaired by Real Business magazine founder Mathew Rock.

He kicked off the evening by talking about his own experience of building a successful media business.

He listed six key points he has learnt over the years:

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1. You are you own brand. So make sure you have a point of view you can express to the media.
2. As much as possible, tell your story yourself. Be your own PR person.
3. Don’t worry if you’re shy, just tell your story with your passion.
4. Digital dialogue, means you don’t have to depend on broadcast media.
5. Understand the new media hierarchy – chatter,  promotion, influence
6. Influence still matters, be ready for that first, serious article to build your reputation.

Shazia_AwanShazia Awan the founder of Peachy Pink and Max Core, kindly returned to the British Library following her succesful talk at our Mothers of Invention evening  in March.

This time, as well as sharing her amazing success story, she also included some practical advice for getting media coverage.

She had five years experience of working in Press Relations, but wanted to go into the fashion industry.

She argued that advertising is often too expensive for a small business. But that the media are open to entrepreneurs making contact with them directly.

­In order to maximise the impact of the initial launch of her Peachy Pink brand, she organised for 50 underwear models to walk down Bond Street on a very nippy day in December, wearing Peachy Pink underwear. By spending three days ringing every newspaper,  magazine and media outlet she could find (with a follow-up reminder the evening before), Shazia ensured her story appeared in every red-top newspaper. As a result the store sold out within two days, and she received contact calls from 15 countries.

She­ talked about the danger of entrepreneurs trying to keep control of every aspect of their business, as it grows you have to learn to let go a bit. And you need to be clear in your own mind how using PR will help grow your business.

When asked for examples of mistakes she had made along the way, she said she prefers to think of them as learning curves. Viral marketing can be effective, but you can get carried away with it. As Peachy Pink becomes an international brand, they are beginning to capitalise on their London and British connections.
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Next came a panel discussion with Jonathan Moules, Louise Third, and Rob Pittam:

Louise Third is a director of Integra Communications
–    Plan media work
–    Do quality research
–    Top tips
o    Plan ahead – only a few have a marketing and PR plan within their business plan
o    Identify your key audience
o    What is news – look at your press release and say ‘so what’.
o    Be realistic about the coverage you can expect

Jonathan Moules is enterprise correspondent at the Financial Times
–    Read the newspapers you are going to pitch to
–    Understand the kinds of stories they are looking for
–    Your story pitch should be like your elevator pitch – short and simple
–    Test it out on friends first
–    Learn how to build a relationship with a journalist – have an opinion on a subject
–    FT readers can see through marketing bullshit

Rob Pittam is a television and radio correspondent, he was also broadcast presenter for the BBC Working Lunch programme.
–    Don’t be afraid to ring newsrooms, they appreciate how hard it is to cold call.
–    It is passion that gets people on to television.
–    Sex sells – although journalists won’t admit it.
–    Journalists will give feedback – email first then follow up with a phone call
–    If something has already happened, it is too late for broadcast media to cover
–    The story is always about people not things
–    Think about the audience, so you will need to let a bit of control go to the journalists.

The evening ended with a busy Question and answer session:

Q – Do you need different PR for different life stages of your business?
A – Identify your key messages for the long term, then identify the key ways of getting these messages across. Start local, then regional, then national. For Business to Business services, start speaking at events to raise your professional profile.

Q – Can you use historical stories?
A – Good stories from the past can work in the print media, but not for broadcast. But the bottom line is that there needs to be a great story.

Q – How to get into professional journals?
A – Be prepared to write your own articles.

A – PR is a drip-drip process, you may not get any mention of your company name each time.

Q – How can you benefit from an important story in the media?
A – Develop your role as an expert / commentator.

Q – How do you leverage a personal brand?
A – Planning is key. The media need to be involved before your launch.

Q – How do you find time for PR?
A – Make sure you block out a couple of hours a week in your diary.

Q – How do you get celebrity endorsement?
A – By getting your product into their (or their agents) hands to try out. Even celebrities love a freebie.

Q – What kind of PR works for service businesses?
A – Look for specialist publications. They will often have a lower threshold for news and articles.

A – Patience is essential. You have to wait for the right hook to hang you news item on. Set up a Google alert to track opportunities.

Our YouTube channel gets 250 thousand hits

youtube-logoWe are constantly telling our clients about the power of using video to market their product or service, as do our workshop presenters (Our Marketing Masterclass with Alasdair Inglis of Grow).

So it is wonderful to be able to show how our use of videos on YouTube has gained us nearly 250,000 hits over the last three years or so.

Very early on we created our own channel BIPCTV, and began posting recordings of our Inspiring Entrepreneurs events, and our success stories.

Having attended almost all of our events over the years, I am really pleased to see that my favourite speaker is also the most popular with nearly 23,000 views. I have to admit that having already seen Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae Sauce on BBCs Dragons Den I was prepared to be disappointed. However, as a live performer with no script or PowerPoint slides, he was witty, charming and inspiring.

Another popular speaker is Sam Roddick, founder of the ‘erotic emporium’ Coco De Mer, and daughter of Body Shop legend Dame Anita Roddick. She describes herself as an activist first and accidental entrepreneur second.

http://www.youtube.com/bipctv

YouTube_BIPC

Media maestros: Innovative strategies for small businesses – next Wednesday

Shazia AwanI’m really looking forward to our next Inspiring Entrepreneurs event, Media Maestros next Wednesday 12 October from 6pm here in the British Library.

We have an impressive panel of industry experts, including: Matthew Rock, Jonathan Moules, Louise Third and Rob Pittam. We also have a special guest speaker Shazia Awan, founder of body enhancing underwear Peachy Pink and Max-Core.

Publicity is the key to getting new customers and a mention in the right newspaper, magazine or online social network can make all the difference. Getting noticed by the press can also sometimes help to reduce the costs in your marketing budgets.

Matthew Rock is founder & editor of Real Business magazine. He will lead the discussion and also give a summary of the latest media trends.

peter_Andre_inspeach pink pantsShazia Awan is the founder of Peachy Pink and Max-Core. Her products are firm favourites with stylists and celebrities and she will talk about her experiences of gaining press attention.

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Jonathan Moules, enterprise correspondent at the Financial Times

Louise Third, director of Integra Communications

Rob Pittam, television and radio correspondent, he was also broadcast presenter for the BBC Working Lunch programme

Do you know the IWR Information Professional of the Year 2011?

IWR_logoAs the fortunate recipient of this award way back in 2003, I have an interest in who gets to win each year.

In 2009 I was pleased to see it go to Hazel Hall, who I have known for many years. And have always been impressed by her support and enthusiasm for her students at the Centre for Social Informatics in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. She has also been very active in promoting the potential of the information and knowledge profession. And has lead the implementation of the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition. Hazel also won the SLA Europe Information Professional Award 2011.

Dr Hazel Hall

Hazel Hall

Now in its 11th year, the international award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession in the last 12 months.

A nomination could be for someone who has demonstrated best practice, led extensive project work, responded in an innovative fashion to commercial or economic pressures, or developed an information resource for an organisation and its users and clients.

The name of the winner will be announced at the Online Information Conference 2011 to be held in London in late November and the winner will be presented with the award at a reception at the end of the first day of the conference.

To nominate either yourself or a colleague, email editor Peter Williams. The entry, giving reasons why the nominee should win, should be no more than 250 words and include the name, job title and achievements plus contact details for the candidate and the nominee. The closing date is Monday 7 November.

The awards are organised by IWR magazine and Online Information Conference organisers, Incisive Media.