Congratulations must go to JCB who following the production last week of its half millionth backhoe loader – the machine that made the company famous around the world, announced yesterday a £500 Christmas bonus to all its staff and a pay increase of 3% for January 2013.
Not only is this marvellous for the morale of JCB and its staff, but has to be a positive and encouraging outlook for Britain as a whole as the condition of the Construction Industry is an early indicator of the future state of our economy.
Sir Anthony Bamford has no doubt that it is Innovation that has lead to their recent and continued success as he said “It’s innovation over the past six decades that has made JCB a world leader for backhoe loaders and it’s innovation that will keep us in the lead with this product over the next 60 years”.
JCB has been one of the main supporters of the Business Innovation Centre since its inception and the BIC wishes them well for the future.
The introduction of new technologies can be a trigger for innovation and the BIC will be holding a Networking Event on 31 January 2013 looking at the application of technologies such as QR Codes, GPS and RFID and what support is around to help companies introduce them into their businesses.
RFID – Telford’s Innovation Secret
“Telford’s Innovation Secret”. Wolverhampton University’s Telford Campus will be bringing with them an insight into the support they can give to companies in Staffordshire to develop technologies using QR Codes; GPS and RFID including subsidised funds to pay for experts to help introduce the technology into your business.
This weekend the West End Show – The Mousetrap based on Agatha Christie’s novel celebrated sixty years of performances and is still the longest running show in the world.
Many of you may know that a very informative and useful book was written more than twenty five years ago called “A Better Mousetrap “ . This is a step-by-step guide to invention and is ideal for anybody who has invented something and would like to read up about it. It is currently available as an e-book PDF version from www.abettermousetrap.co.uk
Why was a mouse-trap used as a focus for a book on invention I hear you ask.
Well you may be interested to know that the Patent Office has issued over 4,400 mousetrap patents to date so there are clearly many people with innovative ideas and many still trying to improve on the original wooden version with a spring trap.
There are many organisations who can help you with your Innovations but be careful not to spend too much money in the early stages, there’s a lot of work you can do yourself at little cost.
Recognising the importance of market research the BIC carries out a Customer Survey on an annual basis and to thank people for replying there was this year a Prize Draw of a £25 High Street Voucher.
We are pleased to announce that the winner this year is:
Polymech based in Stoke on Trent is an approved distributor of engineering plastics and plastic stock shapes and has been working with the Business Innovation Centre for a number of years.
Malcolm was presented with his £25 High Street Voucher by the BIC’s IT Manager Paul Longshaw who has been advising and supporting Malcolm with his business recently. Malcolm said that he would most probably split the voucher between his two daughters!
Long established BIC Client Howard Quinn from Hanley based FotoCeramic, specialists in digital decals spent two years working on a fantastic mural in Glasgow. FotoCeramic provided all the tile transfers for a major piece of public art at Glasgow’s Hillhead Subway station – a 40 foot-long mural which has just been unveiled to city travellers.
The National Blood Service wouldn’t be an obvious organisation I would link to for innovation but having been a regular donor since my University days, I have been amazed at the number of Innovations I have seen over the last few years!
Little things have changed over the years, all designed to make your donation speedier and pleasanter: From the times when you went and queued up for ages, there are now Advanced appointments; easy re-scheduling; pre-printed attendance forms; quick flow through the checking stage; glass of water to reduce the chance of fainting and feet exercises to reduce the threat of developing DVT etc.
But on my visit on Wednesday I was presented with a real visible innovation – a new donor chair designed to enhance the donation experience and improve the whole process for collection staff. Not only was it comfortable to sit on but it was reclineable – it had a supported recovery position whereby a donor is reclined to the traditional donor position but could easily be put into a recovery position should they become unwell www.renfrewgroup.com
It’s good to know that the National Blood Service is looking after us!
A secret kept until the eve of the London Olympic Games helped the Team GB Cyclists to their best ever tally of Olympic Medals – 12 in total and 7 in the velodrome.
A technology which took four years to create and is a collaboration between British Cycling, Loughborough University and Adidas saw the potential of marginal gain of a substantial increase in sprinting power if athletes’ bodies could be kept warm between their warm up session and until just before racing.
Scientists showed there was a benefit when cyclists used stationary bikes to warm up on the velodrome floor but which they were physically unable to maintain whilst they sat down to compose themselves before starting the race.
The solution came in the form of the ”Adipower” muscle-warming, battery-powered “hot pants” to keep the bottoms and thighs of the British riders at the optimum temperature of around 38C before competing. Quick release zips then allowed the cyclists to swiftly remove them just before the start of the race.
“Adipower” is a Registered Trade Mark taken out by Adidas which covers a number of its products.
“Many people believe that there is more than enough water in England and Wales to meet society’s needs. Overall, this is true, but rain does not necessarily fall in the right place or at the right time to meet demand from people or to provide the right amount for the environment. Water is not always naturally available in the same places as the highest pressures of people and growth.” – Environment Agency
I read this article today and it once more drove home the need to always plan ahead and find new solutions for tomorrow’s problems before they reach us.
This is what Innovation is about and I’m pleased to hear that the Technology Strategy Board and two Research organisations – EPSRC and NERC are investing in a “Think Tank” of ten small to medium sized companies in the UK to deliver innovative feasibility projects designed to help businesses safeguard our future water supply, both in this country and abroad. Each company has been set the tough challenge of creating a new technology or process that will either save or recycle 1,000 million litres per day worth of water – equivalent to roughly the same volume of water it would take to fill 400 Olympic sized swimming pools.
If you have an idea to help save or recycle our water it might be worth while contacting the Technology Strategy Board.
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