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Date: 12th March 2013

Location: Business Design Centre, Islington, London

I like to attend the key conferences to see what is going on and take the temperature of things.  Today at the second day of Innovate 2013 (the UK Technology Strategy Board’s annual showcase) it was starting to feel like the planets were coming into alignment as the UK’s nation innovation system appears to get its house in order?

The keynote speech by Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills underlines the importance of the impact of innovation and high-value manufacturing to punch above its weight in economic importance.

Top 10 Interesting and Surprising Facts of the Day

1. “The best way to predict the future, is to invent it…” Alan Kay

2.  When developing your product, think about global markets, from the start.  This anecdotal advice holds true with prescription in the innovation literature that advise that global brands use the size of the market to pay off development costs, whilst keeping price in check.

3. Visions for how technology will impact the human experience in a highly personalized way. Integrated bionics as a new platform.

4. That the state of environmental concern in China will drive innovation enforced under a tough regulatory regime.  A massive $800bn opportunity to trade energy and resource supply efficiency awaits advanced technology firms in this space.

5. The age of smart manufacturing technologies has come – if you’re not doing it, why not?

6. In the environmental space, you can either choose to innovate or be forced to – which do you prefer?

7. Note the power of One Percent Better –  Toyota reap the benefits of their war on waste now producing 5 cars for the same energy as 1.

8. The alignment of the planets I mentioned can be seen in the High Value Manufacturing strategy document, looking 20 years out and identifying 22 national competencies.  See also the Catapults as drivers…

9. Vince Cable outlines the massive effects of innovation responsible for 50% of economic growth.  Manufacturing with “only” 10% GDP is responsible for 50% exports. The missing link now, is that innovation must be linked to growth (for the sake of the balance of payments).

10. In the Energy space, note the critical nature of carbon capture and storage technology to combat global warming.


Rob Munro

So, what do you think ?

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