20 November 2011
One of the things we have learnt over the last 4 years is that nothing is simple. Every area we have become involved in has its own set of challenges and opportunities and it own kind of complexity. What we are now finding is that those different complexities are similar, often interlinked and moving together!
02 October 2011
I should start by expressing some prejudices about my subject before I get into citing evidence. I have worked in business for 27 years and been in a government agency for just over 4 years. Everyone uses words like innovation and growth a lot in both worlds but I think they have a different appreciation of what they mean. In business it has long been known that growth is about acceleration and not speed. To get growth you have to do something that you were not already doing, and you have to do it before the others – or your commercial advantage is non-existent and you will share whatever growth there is with your competitors, and you have to keep doing it. Doing something new once doesn’t cut it.
04 July 2011
Last Monday, after a evening spent with Ford helping celebrate their 100 years of manufacturing in the UK and then joining the UK manufacturing professors dinner, I got back late to my hotel room, fired up iPlayer and sought out the second episode of Evan Davies mini-series “Made in Britain”. As I watched, I sense of creeping disappointment came over me.
12 June 2011
Last week I took a small part in the “We Own It” Summit in London. The invitation to participate came as part of our growing relationship with Astia, which started when (in a moment of honesty) I agreed with a tweet that pointed out that the room was full of white, Anglo-Saxon men in the 50’s wearing suits!! There were two parts to my involvement. The first was to attend the evening event where Sharon Vosmek, the CEO of Astia, talked to Cherie Blair about the balance between the genders and the second was to take part in a panel discussion in the conference proper.
25 March 2011
One of the questions we get asked regularly, not least by those who supply the money we use, is “how are you measuring your success?” The truth is that the impact of what we do is quite complex and there is no simple measure we could use that is not extremely historical, and therefore meaningless for making decisions.
24 January 2011
Over the last 3 years, the Technology Strategy Board has had the role of encouraging UK based companies to be more innovative. We have learned the obvious – that it’s not a “one size fits all” task! We started with a single funding mechanism – a 2 stage collaborative research & development grant – and now have a set of tools, each of which is designed to fit the task we have identified. And we will probably need to develop more over the coming years to make sure we give companies and consortia the right sort of support.
24 January 2011
A few weeks ago, I was invited to talk about disruption – at the Learning Without Frontiers conference, and being a scientist by training, I thought I ought to look up what the dictionary meaning is:
• break: an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity;
• disturbance: a disorderly outburst or tumult;
• dislocation: an event that results in a displacement or discontinuity
• the act of causing disorder