"Collaboration is key to innovation" explained Dr Ian Campbell Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK - Interim Executive at the 'Innovate UK: Investing in Innovation' IET Central London Evening Lecture held at IET Savoy Place. The UK has excellent academic and research ideas which allow it to be ranked 5th in the Global Innovation Index, however we can do more, and its just that what Innovate UK is currently helping many inventors, entrepreneurs and business founders do (oh, and the Venture Capitalists).Innovate UK, is not only helping to bridge business gaps, but itself, has taken a lead role in ensuring the entire circular economic proposition of the solution is accommodated. So not only funding the product cycle process, but they enable entire supply networks to be stood up for swifter go to market strategies and for return on investment to be realised quicker. This is specifically achieved as they are able to fund directly through grants and using quarterly oversight mechanisms, they can ensure that all spending is achieved to promote progressive categories, such as benefits to society and competitiveness.


Dr Campbell shared an interesting observation, where a main cultural difference in innovation between California and the UK was that, failure itself was celebrated in California, whilst in the UK, it is often seen as academic failure. It is these mindsets that are now changing to ensure innovation is remaining fresh within the UK.

 
With more ideas being generated now, Innovate UK has taken some innovate steps itself to fuel the need for technical exploitation. They can fund spin out companies, work with independent organisation and reduce the risk rewards propositions that Venture Capitalists worry about, thus making sure, everyone is focused not only on product innovation, but also economic sustainability for the idea. He cited a project of theirs that now takes 'Gene Transfer' into the months, instead of the typical 2 year development cycle.

 


Whilst there is obvious focus on innovation on trending topics like AI and Data Economy, Future of mobility and Clean Growth, during Q&A, it was discussed that innovation inspiration comes not only from the young generation, but also retired or experienced individuals who not only have that brilliant idea, but also a wealth of life experience - something that Innovate UK is reviewing as Ageing society workstream category. He gave the audience some advice to use Knowledge Transfer Networks to help your grant applications, and if thats not the route you want, then talk to them on how the Innovate UK Loans can help you grow.


Download the slides here.

Robert Heaton