National Innovation Plan for the 21st Century
The following National Innovation Plan is based on my observations as an innovator, since the 1960's. It's a contribution to the debate on how we can overcome our national conservatism, to ensure that we exploit our inventive talent, in the new millennium.
What is innovation?
Innovation is an over-used term. For business purposes, innovation is about producing goods and services in a more efficient way.
Why bother to innovate?
We need to innovate to keep ahead of the international competition. Jobs, funding for public services and social stability all depend on Britain being a successful, innovative economy. We also need to innovate, to provide the wealth, to help us cope with an increasingly ageing society.
What is being done to encourage innovation?
British governments have come up with a number of initiates to promote innovation in recent years, e.g. White papers on competitiveness, changes in taxation, new thinking on bankruptcy, SMART awards, web based support for small businesses, new training initiatives, Millennium Products, NESTA, measures to help universities exploit their discoveries and Cool Britannia(!)
Support for innovation is available through many channels including the DTI, Regional Business Link's, University to High Technology Business links, through professional bodies and innovation champions such as some Banks. There are also several European Community initiatives to promote innovation.
How successful have these initiatives been?
According to the European Innovation Scoreboard* Britain lags behind America, Japan. and the Scandinavian countries, in terms of business innovation. So, these initiatives have only been moderately successful and new thinking is required.* "European Innovation Scoreboard 2003" www.cordis.lu/trendchart Next page