Hidden Innovation

NESTA (see below) have published their Hidden Innovation report which looks at innovation systems of six sectors that are seen as having low levels of innovation: oil production, retail banking, construction, legal aid services, education and the rehabilitation of offenders.

It examines whether these sectors are truly lacking in innovation, or whether traditional measures of innovation – such as investment in R&D – are failing to capture all of the innovation that takes place.

Collaboration vital

The NESTA report heralds Constructing Excellence, a scheme which brought together major companies, clients, different levels of government and the research community to identify, develop and diffuse innovation, as a good example of the way in which industry leaders and government can collaborate to the benefit of all. Government gets the right people together, while the sector leaders themselves drive change.

The construction industry patents few new inventions, (less than 1% of companies in the sector file for patents) but efforts to modernise construction methods across the sector have already saved more than £800 million in central government procurement alone.

Hmmm, it would be good to see the sectors investment on R and D in comparison to other industries.

NESTA is the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, the largest single endowment devoted exclusively to supporting talent, innovation and creativity in the UK. Our mission is to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation. We invest in early stage companies, inform innovation policy and encourage a culture that helps innovation to flourish.

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