Innovation needs Government funding – in the right places

Nesta proposes that the government invest some of the proceeds of its 4G spectrum auction in a ‘generous venture capital co-investment fund’. If the UK’s investment in innovation has fallen over the course of the last decade, and behind our competitors, there could be no better place for BIS to be putting its money than into Accelerators. And into Accelerators in those fields in which we excel, such as bioscience, social enterprise and the creative industries; here are some more examples. 

 Applied Creativity
An E-/Bulletin from 
The Centre for Leadership in Creativity
Edited by John Whatmore                        
November  2012

  
For its success in turning ideas into innovations – in Life Sciences, BioCity’s incubator is fed by its own Bootcamp and its own Accelerator 
http://goo.gl/iRF5A
 
A new Open Innovation incubator – in bioscience (just beside GSK) 

http://goo.gl/6jLPl
 
…holds Open Innovation Day 
http://goo.gl/8SqXp
 
Three pieces of Pixie Dust: Bethnal Green Ventures ‘accelerates’ six out of six new social enterprises: what is its Pixie Dust? See 
http://goo.gl/65UGi
 
But with few Accelerators yet in existence, there are not enough potential leaders for them  
http://goo.gl/65UGi
 
I visit a uniquely successful Open Innovation incubator – in the Arts

http://goo.gl/fHcjP
 
TV’s MasterChef: another version of the Accelerator – whose differences suggest other applications 
http://goo.gl/NvhLk
                                   

          *                        *                        *

 For its success in turning ideas into innovations – in Life Sciences, BioCity’s incubator is fed by its own Bootcamp and its own Accelerator 
BioCity, a public/private enterprise Incubator in Nottingham, has grown opportunistically and organically over the last ten years to support the evolving changes in the life science industry; and has plans to expand its contribution further. http://goo.gl/iRF5A
 
A new Open Innovation incubator – in bioscience (just beside GSK) 
I visit a huge bet on backing young businesses – by putting together a collection of them to work beside one another, and in this case beside a big pharma. The Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst will provide follow-on accommodation for a number of young businesses – which are in the process of being carefully selected; but without any of the systematic review points enshrined in the accelerator model and adopted by its immediate neighbour, GSK. Read more at 
http://goo.gl/6jLPl
 
…holds Open Innovation Day
The Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst attracted a big audience from all parts of the industry in its role as an open innovation incubator, and enabled them to meet and exchange their interests. It is looking to fill all its spaces by early next year.  

http://goo.gl/8SqXp
 
Three pieces of Pixie Dust: Bethnal Green Ventures ‘accelerates’ six out of six new social enterprises: what is the Pixie Dust?
More intensive and more pervasive mentoring; the proximity and interactions between the teams much closer (‘the kitchen a vital place’); and the pressure to deliver something of value within the given period. A concoction of these three seem to make up the Pixie Dust. For more about Bethnal Green Ventures see 
http://goo.gl/MBClN
 
But with few Accelerators yet in existence, there are not enough potential leaders for them
Empathy, experience, contacts with top people who have ‘done it before’, willingness to force issues, regular meetings and support, and ‘getting people to interact on their own terms’ – all of this in a quietly understated style (‘self-effacing facilitation’): probably a rare collection of skills. See 
http://goo.gl/65UGi
 
I visit a uniquely successful Open Innovation incubator – in the Arts
If innovation is of the essence to the performing arts, the ’Studio’ of the National Theatre – which has a unique reputation as a powerhouse of creativity and innovation – seems to be a playground of collaborative experimentation – like no other. As a semi-curated space for creative collaboration, by artfully managing to bring together those who might in some way contribute to one another, it readily attracts people who can benefit from the simple safe spaces that it offers in which to experiment, ‘to dream, to work, to sweat over ideas that aren’t ready and to hone stuff that is nearly there’ – a vibrant, active, welcoming place for unexpected and interesting things to happen for a wide range of artists in the nation’s performing arts. See
http://goo.gl/fHcjP
 
TV’s MasterChef: another version of the Accelerator – whose differences suggest other applications
The return to the screen of TV’s MasterChef looks like just another embodiment of the principles of the Accelerator – a small carefully chosen group of people working intensively together over a short period of time, with the help of iterative feed-back and advice – but MasterChef is different: it is divided into a number of separate sessions; and of course there is only one winner (for that is what TV requires). So how about using Accelerators for learning;  for helping people back into work; and for making awards or letting contracts.  (See also Related Posts below this post.) (
http://goo.gl/NvhLk)
 

The Centre for Leadership in Creativity (a ‘virus for creativity’) carries out research and provides consultancy and peer-to-peer learning for organisations where creativity and innovation are vital. 

 The Centre for Leadership in Creativity    
138 Iffley Road,London W6 OPE           
Tel/fax: 020 8748 2553            
E-mail:  john.whatmore@btinternet.com

  
 

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