What is innovation? (IAWM)

We recently spoke with Jane from Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands (IAWM) about all things innovation within the Black Country, she has kindly written us a short guest blog post on the subject.

Sometimes companies are given the impression that they have to be working with a professor in a lab coat, developing a ground-breaking product that the world has never seen before in order to say they’re ‘innovative’. While some companies may actually be doing this, usually the word innovation is used when it might be clearer to say ‘we’re doing something we’ve not done before’. It might not be new to the world, but it makes a product or a service better than it used to be, and these incremental changes might end up being just as important to the company that makes them, and the people that use them.

The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy sets out long-term priorities to increase productivity in our region. It celebrates the strengths of the West Midlands innovation ecosystem, including our strong research base and innovative companies. It also talks about creating an innovation culture: creating opportunities to showcase the impact and importance of innovation across the West Midlands’ public and private sectors. What does this mean?

In the most practical sense, it means making more noise about the great things that are already being done by firms all over the Black Country and elsewhere in the West Midlands. It doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, although it might be!  It just needs to show off the new products and services being brought forward by companies, even during these difficult times.

To support this, the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands have started an innovation tracker which showcases stories from companies creating products as diverse as freeze-dried fruit snacks, systems for contactless donations at church, and creating a 3D immersive museum experience. If you’d like us to showcase the new products and services you’re creating, you can contact us at IAWM@blackcountryconsortium.co.uk

You can visit the Innovation Alliance website by clicking here.

If you'd like to know more or need support for your business, please do get in touch with our dedicated business support team. Call us on 0300 770 2245 or email enquiries@bcgrowthhub.com.