UK Businesses Urged to ‘Foster Innovation’

Business decision-makers throughout UK industry believe that other nations have advanced beyond the UK in terms of their ability to foster innovation, according to new research published by Logica. Nearly half of respondents believe that British organisations are less successful in generating innovative ideas in comparison to the US, while 42% rate UK plc as being less innovative than the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations.

A factor leading this trend is the extent to which businesses have deprioritised fostering a culture of innovation within their organisation. Thirty-eight per-cent of respondent do not consider their senior leadership teams to treat innovation as a business priority. The majority (58%) believe that a tension exists between short-term financial priorities and the longer-term benefits of innovation, considering innovation to be a distraction to the organisation.

The research findings identify a number of ‘black spots’ where sparks of inspiration are not acted upon, with organisations not collaborating to drive innovation or making the most of ideas. Only 9% of organisations polled look to collaborate with universities in the name of developing inventive thinking and research, while 39% of respondents from the public sector believe that their organisation does not successfully exploit the ideas that it generates.

In response to the research, Logica has issued a call for two tangible measures which would encourage the sharing and development of innovative ideas:

  1. The creation of a register which allows academic institutions to capture and share their innovative ideas and intellectual property. Companies will be able to access the register, under a strict non-disclosure agreement. This will allow them to explore whether there is any intellectual property available within universities which they could use, then develop commercial agreements with the respective university ‘owners’.
  2. The introduction of a policy where public sector contracts are awarded to companies which demonstrate open innovation and a collaborative approach with small businesses and academia within its approach to delivery. This should be supported by a charter outlining the innovation and collaborative mechanisms which government contractors should meet, in order to ensure that the taxpayer achieves the best value from its contractors and that the benefits from innovation within the public sector are stimulated and structured.


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