Meet our mentors: Martin Noble

Martin Noble is a commercial IP lawyer and mentor on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.   

Name: Martin Noble

Occupation: Commercial IP Lawyer

I’m a lawyer, but please don’t let that put you off! I take a proactive approach to tackle problems head on, looking to add value at all stages of the business life cycle. I have broad legal experience, with strengths in protecting and exploiting intellectual property and defining commercial relationships. Past feedback says that I’m “great to work with – good humoured and professional in equal measure”.

Why did you choose to become a mentor on the NHS CEP, are you enjoying the experience and how have you supported your mentee/s so far? 

I’ve been involved with the NHS CEP for a number of years now, typically delivering workshops on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property and demystifying the legal documents needed for businesses to collaborate with third parties in the start-up and mid-term phases. I’ve supported several clinical entrepreneurs with their business ideas already and becoming a mentor seemed to be the next natural step! For me, I like talking to people and hearing about their great ideas. Providing support to mentees is very rewarding in itself, whilst also challenging me because no situation is ever the same.

What do you think makes a good mentor and can you see the impact that mentoring is having on your mentee?   

Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, once said that we have two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak. Listening is very important; taking the time to digest what you hear. You’re also not there to tell mentees what to do – the critical friend nature of the role is also key.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your professional career? 

Whenever you write to someone, always bear in mind that it could one day be looked at by a judge in a court room. Translated into a practical sense, that means never writing something immediately as a knee jerk reaction. If you can, write the words and leave them overnight – you might change them or never send them at all!

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a mentor with the NHS CEP? 

The NHS CEP is a fantastic programme to be involved with, full of clinical entrepreneurs who are brimming with enthusiasm to bring their ideas into the real world. Mentoring is fun, but it is also a two-way process where the mentor can learn along the way too. I would recommend giving up some time to support this worthy cause.

Martin Noble is one of over 300 professionals that volunteer there support to the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and support our next generation of innovators. If you are interested in supporting the programme visit our mentor pages