up to £10,000 AVAILABLE
TO PAY FOR SPECIALIST ADVICE
to help you research and develop a new product or service
How we can help?
• Grants of up to £10,000 at (40% intervention)
• Your own personal business advisor to help develop your business
• Ongoing support
• Suite of innovation workshops
• Access to information on additional funding
• Collaboration between researchers and companies
• Specialist intensive assistance (Market or Product Research, IPR Fees, Design and Prototyping, ICT and Finance)
• Generate ideas for new or improved products and services
“focusing on collaborations which are about transferring good ideas, research results and skills between the knowledge base and business to enable innovative new products and services to be developed”
CLOSING DATE 18th September 2016
Are you a dynamic small or medium-sized business based in the Newcastle Borough?
You could be awarded cash or a part-funded apprentice for a whole year.
Newcastle Business Boost Awards are back, now in their 9th year, inspiring small and medium size businesses in the Newcastle Borough to grow and prosper.
Through participation, businesses are encouraged to develop entrepreneurship and strategic thinking to help drive their business forward. The unique cash awards are presented to businesses that are able to demonstrate drive and ambition based on sound business planning. There will also be other awards on offer including the opportunity to win a part-funded apprentice for one year!
The BIC was proud to welcome their 1000th workshop delegate Linda Walker to their Leadership in Innovation workshop in Stafford on 16 June 2016.
Linda who is from OSCAT Health & Safety consultancy in Cannock Chase was presented with a Certificate and a bottle of Champagne from the BIC’s Director of Innovation Sandra Butterworth.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROJECT FIRE
Congratulations to Project Fire Products Ltd for winning our Innovation Award at the Sentinel Business Awards last night. The Hixon based intelligent automatic fire protection company has shown their commitment to Innovation drawing on all their design and engineering skills to develop patented products including their automatic flow switch test system Zonecheck.
We also extend our Congratulations to all the other shortlisted and winners of the other categories of the Sentinel Business Awards.
An excellent event which the BIC has been proud to sponsor for 16 years!
11th March 2016 With Margaret Knight a Female Inventor from the 19th Century
Each time we go shopping nowadays we all seem to be trying to remember to take our “Life Bags” with us to avoid paying for the bags most retailers provide. Some are better at remembering than others and this can sometimes be quite costly.
Life seems to be much simpler in the United States where they just provide everybody with paper bags!
You may wonder why they use paper bags and not really joined in with the plastic bag phenomenon we have seen in the UK.
It could be for environmental reasons or it could be because the person who invented the first machine that made paper shopping bags was American.
Margaret Knight was an exceptionally prolific inventor in the late 19th century.” She was born in York, Maine in 1838 and was still a young girl when she began working in a textile mill in New Hampshire. After seeing a fellow worker injured by a faulty piece of equipment, Knight came up with her first invention: a safety device for textile looms. She was awarded her first patent in 1871, for a machine that cut, folded and glued flat-bottomed paper shopping bags, thus eliminating the need for workers to assemble them slowly by hand. Knight received 27 patents in her lifetime, for inventions including shoe-manufacturing machines, a “dress shield” to protect garments from perspiration stains, a rotary engine and an internal combustion engine.
(biography information courtesy of www.biography.com)
Startups.co.uk have just opened their applications for the seventh annual search for the UK’s most exciting early-stage businesses. Launched in 2008 the Startups 100 index lists young, innovative UK companies expected to have a big impact across a variety of sectors.
Closing Date for Entries is 25 March 2016
NESTA’s Predictions for 2016 – Part Three
NESTA is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Every year they publish their predictions for the coming 12 months based on the research and projects they have come across or been working on.
In 2016 they have 10 predictions which BIC Clients should consider when planning their Innovation Strategies and new product developments.
Here with acknowledgment to Nesta in the third and final Part of my consideration of four of Nesta’s predictions for 2016:
7. The Sticky and Sweet Future of Food Hacking
Nutritional supplements and food hacking are not new concepts but with the growth of wearables and smart phone apps it is predicted that in 2016 we will be entering into a new era of bespoke nutritional recommendations. A diet based on analyzing people’s DNA and combining that with the information gleaned about a person’s lifestyle, diet, sleep, mental and emotional states.
Food hacking will impact everyone, not just the web-savvy or health conscious; it could lead to a systemic change in food production and distribution. This in turn would lead us to a better, healthier world and 2016 will be the year we open our minds and our mouths to a new menu!
8. Patients become Citizen Scientists
We are in the middle of an explosion in the amount of data that exists about the health of individuals and it is believed that 2016 will bring a new generation of digitally enabled and patient-led research. There is so much digital information around currently, not only through smartphones and wearables such as Fitbits but also due to the digitization of all of our health records.
The same pill, therapy or diet will often have widely different effects from person to person and if we can understand and predict this more clearly then we can target care where it will do most good, leading to a more effective healthcare system as well as improving efficiency.
This data is produced, owned and controlled by patients and so it will be accessed on their terms! The technology is already here and improving all the time, we already have pills that broadcast a signal when they have been swallowed, cheap home ECGs and the ability to analyse individuals’ genomics and DNA.
Watch this space!
9. The Titans of the Sharing Economy meet their match
2016 is set to become the most interesting year yet in the life story of the sharing economy. We expect to see the continued growth and spread of those organisations such as Uber (on demand driver service through your phone app) and Airbnb (rent and let out your own unique places to stay).
The phenomenon of trusting strangers in the sharing economy will continue but there are still many issues around a fair payment procedure and so we are still unable to get away from the middle man who earns his commission.
Maybe in 2016 someone will come up with a way of directly transacting with anyone in a way that was invulnerable to fraud, a system that nobody actually owned and so no-one took a commission. Researchers are still looking into blockchain technology, similar to Bitcoins but it is clear that a radical re-think is required to further the sharing economy.
10. Universal Basic Income moves into beta
In recent year, the inability to tackle unemployment through conventional means combined wit the rise of job automation has prompted academics, politicians and commentators to revisit the concept of everyone having a Basic Income. Non means-tested income is much simpler to administrate making it compelling proposition when considering ways to reduce fraud or levels of bureaucracy in welfare systems. But is is fair?
Various projects have been trialled around the world and countries like Finland, the Netherlands, France and Namibia are continuing their research. It can provide a safety net for people wishing to retrain, enable citizens to make greater unpaid contributions to their communities, strengthen the fabric of social relations and reduce the burden of professional care. The reduction in poverty brought about by a basic income can provide children with a much better start to life. But the best way to tackle this is yet to be found!
These are all areas companies can be looking into as part of their own planning for the future in 2016 and if you would like further information about these predictions do visit the NESTA website – http://www.nesta.org.uk/news/2016-predictions
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