Embracing Open Innovation to Boost the Welsh Economy

July 26, 2013 By IdeaConnection

Flag_of_Wales_2.svgAll eyes are on the government of Wales as it embarks on a brand new open innovation project that aims to forge collaborations between large and small companies and other partners. The overall intention is to increase innovation and give the Welsh economy a healthy boost.

Other towns, cities and countries will be watching to see what difference the project might make.

Seven large companies in the country successfully competed for an Open Innovation Development Award that will help them develop new relationships with external partners – customers, suppliers, inventors, universities or other stakeholders. Each company is being encouraged to appoint an open innovation champion to drive OI projects forward.

Knowledge Sharing

As they pursue their OI agendas these seven companies will explore best practices and introduce novel approaches. And they will share their findings with the wider Welsh business community at regular meetings.

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science & Transport
Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science & Transport

“This pilot two-year Open Innovation Award is a new approach from Welsh Government that aims to bring commercially exploitable solutions to light for the benefit of Welsh businesses of all sizes,” said Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy.

The seven participating companies hail from different industries including pharmaceutical, defense and utilities.

Among the open innovation processes that will be adopted are advertising technology needs via a website and using technology scouts to find solutions.

Innovation Economy

According to CBI Wales (the organization that represents the country’s biggest employers) the Welsh government needs to put innovation at the heart of its growth agenda. It has called on the government to show leadership by working with businesses to support innovation. This new open innovation project is a big step in the right direction.

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Reader Comments

Thanks for the interest in the pilot project.

The companies have been awarded support to put in place the frameworks & business models to introduce open innovation practices.

Each has employed an open innovation champion to look at changing the culture internally & building external relationships. They're using the support to develop governance, promote technology needs/offers, develop portals, training, appoint an intermediary, etc.

They're expected to help nurture and develop SMEs they engage with through access to facilities, expertise and markets.

The Welsh Government will share best practice approaches to encourage others to introduce collaborative innovation to develop commercially exploitable solutions.

Mark Lewis
Commercialisation Manager, Innovation Team
Welsh Government
Posted by Mark Lewis on August 13, 2013

For more information you could check out the Welsh government's website http://wales.gov.uk/?lang=en

The news release about the initiative, including some contact details is here http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/businessandeconomy/2013/7614975/?lang=en
Posted by IdeaConnection on August 6, 2013

What kind of support do the companies get from the Welsh governement during the pilot?
Posted by arend nagel on August 5, 2013

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