STEM Foundation

Innovation is the key to a thriving British manufacturing Industry

The Telegraph’s article by Maurizio Brusadelli on 18 August covers many of the sentiments and principles that any organisation (public or private) should be embracing.

Quality and innovation play vital roles for organisations to remain competitive. Broadly speaking, quality aims for high and sustainable performance in existing business areas, while innovation aims for breakthrough. Although these concepts are diametrically opposed through their focus (performance equals existing; innovation equals creating), the need to ensure quality often results in these areas being intertwined.

Creating value in a highly competitive global market-space requires organisations to continuously develop innovative and high quality products and services, and, deliver them on time and at a lower cost. To achieve a balanced diet of quality, innovation and performance, cultural values and enabling characteristics that drive creativity, efficiency and responsibility need to be embedded.

My organisation, NEF: the Innovation Institute is a professional body & educational charity that drives improvement and innovation in science, engineering and technology - remains to be amazed by existing conventional business models and the limited appetite for risk as well as the lack of good practices such as Horizon Scanning (used to identify trends and uncontested markets known as blue oceans).  

On the educational front – a transformational thinking is needed. It is essential to shift away from the jaded thinking that is based on historical and conventional instruments for measuring success to that of innovative learning and assessment methods that stimulate creativity and entrepreneurial talent. We are seeing a slow but steady development of innovation hubs that enable fast-tracking of new business development for colleges and universities and drive “open innovation” at a local and regional levels.

This engagement platform is particularly important for supply chain SMEs where often innovation and entrepreneurship are more prominent, and in some cases provide the inspiration for game changing solutions. 

In addition, embracing the Investor in Innovations standard provides an excellent structured methodology that any organisation can apply to benchmark and validate its innovation capability and performance and create an innovative ethos in its workforce and celebrates its achievements. The end result is a sustainable innovation pipeline that truly generates real economic value and social benefit.

A response by Professor Sa’ad Medhat, Daily Telegraph

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STEM > Innovation Driven Education