The UK government generate an innovation report every year and I thought now would be a great time to share some insights from 2010 report.  Along side the insights I’ve also put together some simple steps to help kick start your innovation strategy.

Innovation drives economic growth - it has accounted for 63 per cent of annual labour productivity growth since 2000, with investments in intangibles accounting for 23 per cent of productivity growth. Investment in intangibles in 2008 also helped reduce the negative impact on productivity of the start of the recession.

On this basis innovation is not only key to business growth but also to the UK’s economic growth, so both ways round it quite simply makes sense to have a growth strategy which includes innovation.  But how do you go about it?

Let’s start with the basics, why would you want to do this? Well there are all sorts of reasons such as the ability to identify new products which provide additional revenue streams and routes to market. You may find that your product requires new features, or just a refresh to keep ahead of the market.

  1. Commit your company to innovate
  2. Decide the areas that you want to innovate in.
  3. Set aside resources to work on innovation projects
  4. Select a leader to take charge of projects and drive them forward

This should put you in good stead for getting something up and running but if you’d also like some support that helps you build and implement your strategy then read on.

Microsoft are running something called the Microsoft Innovation Program (MIPS) and helps software companies create a planned window for innovation.  A program to draw out the creativity and inventiveness in your greatest assets, your people.  As Albert Einstein once said “Ideas and innovation are the bedrock that technology is built on”. By signing on to this program you will get to:

  • Identify potential new products / revenue streams
  • Drives new features / improvements into existing products
  • Deliver your technology roadmap
  • Gain training on the latest software tools & training on user interface creation
  • Get input from your commercial team to create revenue driving technology

What else?

  • Most importantly the program is free
  • There will be a Prize for Best use of Technology / Certificate to winning developers for excellence in innovation.
  • Improves staff engagement with products, motivates, increases morale

So how do you get involved in this? Well that’s simple… We have 3 steps!

  1. Let Adrian Clarke know that you are interested in the program and send him your company profile.
  2. Appoint a project manager to work with us.
  3. Set aside a few days for training and development

That’s it! It really is as simple as that… and here’s what can come out of it at the other end!

 

The graph below is a comparison of business expenditure on R&D as a percentage of GDP, 2000 and 2008.  As you can see the UK certainly doesn’t look as competitive as it’s foreign counterparts and with a little investment comes great return, so let’s make sure our GDP percentage is up when the next one of these reports comes out.

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If you’d like to find out more about the program then email Adrian and pop over to MSDN to hear about this program in action!