What Innovation Means to Me – Real Life Answers | #innovation #technology #startup #USA #Canada #Europe #UK






When we talk about new thinking, what do we mean? Jane Simms asks creatives and policymakers what it means to them 

NIGEL PERRY

has been CEO of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) since 2003. CPI is an exemplar of public and private sectors working together to establish innovation supply chains in new technologies, and recently became part of the government’s first elite High Value Manufacturing Catapult 

What does innovation mean to you? 
In our world [process innovation] we talk in terms of helping companies become more successful and sustaining or growing their ability to create wealth, and that’s about doing things better, doing new things and doing the right things in the future. 

Innovative companies generally tend to have a risk-distributed portfolio of innovation, and expect some to work and some not. Companies that aren’t innovative tend to seize on a single idea. 

Why is innovation important? 
Our analysis shows that for every dollar of public money the US spends on invention it spends $63 on innovation and they get an average return on those $64 of $400. But in addition to the hard economic and fiscal reasons, there are a number of softer reasons. 

For one, it’s bloody exciting. And it allows human beings to exercise their innate creativity in order to create and manage the future and ensure the survival of the human race. 

What, if anything, holds BACK innovation? 
Innovation is inherently synonymous with manufacturing, and the UK took its eye off the manufacturing ball in the 1980s when it decided to focus on the service economy. It was only when the financial services bubble burst in 2008 that we started to hear the first talk of rebalancing the economy back towards manufacturing. 

To compete again we have to get into high-value innovation and we won’t do that overnight. We need patient money, and there is a tension between innovation and the prevailing short-term focus. However, the focus on innovation as a way of regenerating manufacturing and rebalancing the economy is one of very few policies that has survived the transition of government from Labour to the Coalition. 

How have you contributed to innovation
I’ve always tried to find better ways of doing things, but probably my greatest contribution to the innovation sphere is setting up and running CPI, which is all about stimulating people to think differently. 

What is your favourite innovation? 
Concorde, because it showed the UK what it could do, and was a source of immense pride. After it was taken out of service following the crash in Paris in 2000, we lost that iconic UK ‘we can do these things’ symbol.

DAVID WILLETTS

is minister of state for universities and science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously shadow secretary for universities, innovation and skills

What does innovation mean to you? 
Improving performance by doing things differently. 

Why is innovation important? 
The classic economic explanation is that it is the biggest long-term driver of economic growth. But the more human answer is that the excitement of coming up with a smart solution for doing things differently is a source of personal satisfaction. 

What, if anything, holds back innovation? 
People talk of a sort of “valley of death” between the discovery of an idea and its commercialisation, and there is something in that. We have a fabulous science base in the UK, which we protect with £4.6bn of public money every year, and we win Nobel Prizes in science. But we are less good at commercialising the ideas that come out of that. 

It is not that we are more risk-averse than the US; it is more that the US, through government and its agencies, does more to reduce the risk for entrepreneurs. 

For example, over there SMEs get public-sector contracts for new products and services early on through the Small Business Innovation Research scheme and US research funding from science agencies tends to fund products closer to market than ours has done historically. 

How have you contributed to innovation? 
I think the Coalition has been bold in continuing to back innovation and protecting the science budget even during very difficult times. We have set up the Small Business Research Initiative, which opens up public sector procurement to small businesses, we are launching seven Catapult Centres to help bridge the gap between science and business, and I’ve identified eight great technologies where we are or can be global leaders and that we will continue to help them exploit big market opportunities. These and a raft of other initiatives demonstrate the role government can and should play in a new, high-technology industrial revolution. 

What’s your favourite innovation? 
In the 60th anniversary year of the discovery by Francis Crick and James Watson of the molecular structure of DNA, and 150 years after Darwin came up with his theory of evolution, my favourite innovation has to be the massive contribution Britain has made to life sciences. We are now at the early stages of identifying how to harness the benefits of genetics, which will have enormous significance because it will transform humanity’s understanding of itself.

DAVID GANN (CBE)

is professor of technology and innovation management at Imperial College, London

What does innovation mean to you? 
Innovation is the successful implementation of new ideas – or, in a business context, the successful commercial exploitation of new ideas. People invent; organisations innovate. It’s a team effort. 

Why is innovation important? 
It is the engine room for economic growth and a mechanism for dealing with lots of the change associated with the increasingly dynamic world we live in. 

How can we foster innovation? 
It’s important to get a better understanding of why and how innovation happens so that we can channel and focus innovation activity more purposefully. That’s why I study it and teach it. 
Failure is an important part of innovation, but there’s no joy in making the same mistakes over and over again. 

How have you contributed to innovation? 
I was the founding head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at Imperial College, and the focus of my research has been why and how innovation happens, how it continually transforms the world we live in, how to manage it, what entrepreneurship means and so on. I have helped companies and governments all over the world to better understand the innovation process and put it to better strategic use. 

What is your favourite innovation? 
Josiah Wedgwood is the greatest innovator in history, because he innovated across so many areas – he used new materials, employed new ways of selling and found new ways to benefit society through what he did.

One of Imperial’s recent innovations, the iKnife, is an intelligent knife that can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting out is cancerous or not. Such things are transformational and fun to talk about.

ALEX VAN SOMEREN

is partner in Amadeus Capital Partners, which invests in and supports early-stage technology companies in the UK

What does innovation mean to you? 

The creation of new ideas and technologies that can be commercialised.

Why is innovation important? 
It drives society forward socially and economically. 

What, if anything, holds BACK innovation? 
Nothing. The UK is a very conducive environment for innovation and we can be proud of our record in generating a significant number of new businesses as a result. We have been obliged to be highly innovative because of our global trading history: we needed to punch above our weight. 

How have you contributed to innovation? 
I have been an entrepreneur in the UK IT industry for 35 years and spent two years working with business incubators around Europe. Three years ago I joined Amadeus to start investment in early-stage entrepreneurial businesses, and I now manage a portfolio of early stage funds. 

Early-stage venture capital is essential to economic prosperity, but because it is considered to be risky it requires hands-on investing, so it helps that I have practical experience of the field. 

What’s your favourite innovation? 

The ARM processor. It has driven the explosion of smartphones and portable computing. It is a UK innovation that has, quite literally in this case, changed the world.


Rasalkhaimah, ras, al, khaimah, dubai, university, salford, manchester, @hishamsafadi, hisham, safadi, European, medical, center, business, entrepreneur, startup, economy, money, motivation, education, Leadership,  Transactional,  analysis, emotional, intelligence, organisations,  development,  innovative, technology,  care, health, investor, investment, production, shark, tank, sharktank, USA, UK, London, group, european, canada, india, china, japan, KSA, projectmanagement, datascience, bigdata, IOT, internetofthings, cloud

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