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Innovation is about more than white coats and research labs. Michael Cannon, our director of innovation grants and open innovation, explains why innovation is important for everyone.

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'Innovation'. The word conjures up images of scientists in brightly-lit laboratories or brilliant eccentrics with their revolutionary inventions. The reality is that innovation is far more commonplace and applies to every modern business that aspires to thrive. 

Michael said: “Innovation is strongly, but wrongly, associated solely with research and development and white coats. Thus, if your company doesn’t employ people who wear white coats it can be difficult to see where innovation fits in.

Broadening our definition

“Innovation is also often just considered as product innovation and not connected with other aspects of an organisation, such as the service features that go along with a product or the channels that a product is offered through. All non-product areas – including the company’s organisation structure or manufacturing processes can give it a competitive edge and, as such, can be areas of significant innovation.”

And competitive edge is essential to maintaining a position in the market and securing growth for the future. Strong businesses are those that continue to think about new – and better – ways of solving their customers’ problems. 

“Innovation covers almost very aspect of a business from the cost side to the revenue side,” added Michael. “It is the key to sustainable competitive growth, so business in all sectors and of all sizes need to innovate.”

We can help by providing expertise in many areas of innovation from developing an innovation strategy through to practical hands-on support. And where it doesn’t have the expertise, it can often support the cost of an expert to work with a company. 

Whether your company is in the early days of exploring an idea through market research, finding the right business model and on to feasibility testing and product prototyping, we can help you develop your leadership team and organisational changes needed to exploit the innovation, as well as the vital design and branding aspects and, of course, the necessary intellectual asset protection of the innovation.

Where next for your business?

Got global ambitions? Need support to take your idea to market?

Ask about our Make it to Market grant

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