Wednesday 25 September, 16.00 – 18.00
Sutherland Institute, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 4HY, United Kingdom
Innovation doesn’t just happen – it needs to be managed!
You need to take time out of your business to think and plan introducing new ideas, products etc after all we have meetings for sales, marketing, HR and finance so why not Innovation?
Why do we need to Innovate
- Innovative Companies outperform their competitors
How can we bring Innovation into our business
- Brainstorming Techniques for new ideas
How can we use it to help grow our business
- New Markets? New Products? New Liaisons? New ??
If you are about to graduate or have graduated since 2009 you may be interested in entering this competition to win £10,000 to help develop your business.
There are seven categories but you may be particularly interested in the “Product Design” Category where they are looking for business ideas to find new ways to serve the entertainment, recreation, food and accommodation sectors through innovation in product or process.
Closing date is 13 October 2013
The route to Innovation and the development of an innovative idea can be likened to the journey taken by famous explorers. They were all striving for new discoveries in new lands and were full of trepidation about the journey.
Gils van Wulfen wrote an interesting article on this subject and quoted the following taken from an advertisement in a London newspaper in 1913:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success”
The journey was an Antarctic Exploration led by Sir Ernest Shackleton to the South Pole.
Who would volunteer for such an event? Who would volunteer to take an innovative idea from concept to market? Both can be long arduous journeys with no guarantees of success BUT can be very rewarding if you are successful.
For assured success there are certain areas of innovation and new product development that need special consideration:
Time should be spent on considering whether a new product or innovation has the scope for protection, whether that be in the form of a patent, a trade mark or registered design etc. Protection can give you security and a head start in the market. Did you know that the top “dead” earner in 2012 was Elizabeth Taylor earning $210m from Copyright Royalties
It is important to be re-assured that there is a market for your product before you start spending too much time and money on your idea. Analyse current markets around your idea. Consider carrying out a market survey to ascertain interest and potential market price. It’s important to ensure that your selling price covers production and all other associated costs and that you can also still make a profit. If you can’t then why proceed?
Financing your Project
It takes money as well as time to develop and take a new product to market and people should not be under any illusion that there are free handouts to help. If you can’t part fund your own idea then why should anybody else invest in your idea? You need some funds to start. If your idea is good enough there are a number of schemes to help from grant funding to loan funds to Business Angels to Venture Capital. Collaboration with another company is always a plausible option as you will be sharing the journey and hopefully sharing the profits.
There are all kinds of organisations who can help you with your new product development and that in itself is a long journey, currently the average time for the development of a new product or process is 18 months. Never launch your product too early, test the product and the market as
much as you can before finally promoting it. In a world of high litigation you don’t want to be involved in an expensive product recall.
Nobody is going to knock on your door and ask you if they can buy your product, you need to spend time and money telling people about your idea. This could be face to face, by e-mail, on the internet or by using social media. And when you’ve done that then you need to go round again because people are bombarded by promotion every day from all avenues and people’s memories are very short.
So Innovation is a long journey but the end result can be very rewarding!
Since the launch of the BIC’s new round of funding in April this year, acquired to help local businesses employ external Specialist Advice, the BIC has already awarded funding to thirty six companies in Staffordshire.
The funds have been used to pay for advice on strategic marketing; new product development; financial advice; specialist IT support; costs for the expansion of manufacturing production facilities and solicitor fees to draw up specialist licensing agreements for an innovative new product.
We are delighted to invite you to join us at an exclusive, ‘business innovation masterclass’ for GrowthAccelerator which is the premier business growth service led by the private sector and backed by government. Business’ that excel during recessions use innovative new approaches to fuel sustainable growth and deliver great profits.
Taking place on Tuedsay 10 September at the Stone House Hotel, Stone, Staffordshire this event will introduce you to creative problem solving techniques, help generate new ideas that will unlock new market opportunities, grow sales and improve bottom line performance. If you have the ambition to grow 20% per annum, then you really can’t afford to miss this insight into the kind of specialist innovation expertise larger firms rely on.
You will learn:
• How to find out what value your customers are really buying from you
• How to generate, capture and validate new ideas
• How to put your ideas into practice and make them happen
• How to ‘break the pattern’ using focused tools and techniques.
Although this hugely popular Masterclass is usually chargeable, this event is being funded by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Therefore there is no charge for attending on this occasion, but bookings are limited to two places per company.
BIC Specialist Intensive Assistance Fund
Does your business fall within any of the following sectors?
- Communication & Technology
- Creative Digital
- Medical Technology
- Renewable Energy
- Building Technology
- Business & Professional Services
- High Value Added
If you are also a small or medium sized business in Staffordshire, you may be eligible for some financial assistance from the BIC to help you to fund specialist intensive support: Up to £4,500 subsidy, 25% Intervention Award Panels will sit on a Regular Basis To be used to pay for specialist advice in areas such as IPR strategy, advice on New Product Design and Development, IT support, Financial advice, Marketing strategy etc Companies must show growth potential through jobs and GVA! Ring the Business Innovation Centre on 01782 333798 to express your interest or complete the form below.
Entries are now open for the James Dyson Award 2013 looking for designers, engineers and problem solvers.
A prize of £30,000 to the entrant and £10,000 to your university department.
Closing date 1st August 2013.
Staff at the Business Innovation Centre are proud to just learn that the BIC has been granted a renewed licence as an accredited European BIC encouraging and promoting Innovation in Staffordshire. The Licence is in recognition of maintaining conformity with the EC-BIC Quality Criteria.
The BIC has always prided itself on delivering quality advice and services to its clients since their inception in 1995.
The Award was presented to the BIC’s Chief Executive Geoff Riley by Alvaro Simon de Blas the President of the European Business Network in Brussels.
Marketing expert Robert Craven lists as No 1 of his 23 cardinal rules of marketing
“If there’s a choice between being better or different then different wins every time!”
Ideally of course you should be different and better. The BIC’s Leadership in Innovation workshop on 17 July which is currently free of charge to Staffordshire based businesses will look at the challenges faced by Leaders of companies to bring out that Innovation within their business so that they look to be “different from the crowd”.
In fact in a 2010 survey by Business Week 72% of senior executives said innovation was a top three priority for their company. The same survey showed that the most innovative companies outperform their peers by 12.4% over a three year period. Come along to our workshop to improve the innovation strategy within your business.
German Boat – It’s always interesting to see what other countries are focussing on when it comes to Innovation and Germany seems to be very innovative when it comes to encouraging innovation amongst its people.
If you didn’t see a recent edition of the BBC programme “Click” then take a few minutes to watch this clip
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