Innovation, the successful exploitation of new ideas, drives economic growth.
The world faces major challenges – from climate change, to resource use, to changing age demographics – which are creating global market opportunities for entirely new solutions.
The countries most likely to benefit from these opportunities will be those which can innovate most rapidly. Innovation contributes to higher productivity and economic growth, and is core to our competitiveness.
But many factors hamper innovation. Companies can struggle to find finance for early-stage development, the returns can be hard to predict, and the innovation ‘landscape' can be complex and confusing.
The Technology Strategy Board tackles these barriers and supports business-led innovation. We work across business, academia and government - supporting innovative projects, reducing risk, creating partnerships, and promoting collaboration, knowledge exchange and open innovation.
Our strategy for 2011-15 focuses on five areas:
1. Accelerating the journey between concept and commercialisation
The journey of an idea from concept to market can be uneven and indirect. We work to speed this up.
2. Connecting the innovation landscape
The innovation landscape can be fragmented and difficult to navigate. We build strategic relationships with other innovation players, creating a more effective innovation environment.
3. Turning government action into business opportunity
Government can create opportunities for innovative businesses. We identify how policy, standards, and regulation can stimulate innovation and we help unlock the potential of government to act as ‘lead customer' for businesses that can solve public sector challenges.
4. Investing in priority areas based on potential
We focus on thematic areas which are most likely to generate UK economic growth and which address global challenges and opportunities – and on competencies and technologies which enable innovation in these areas.
In making investments we apply four key criteria:
- Is there a large (global) market opportunity?
- Does the UK have the capability to develop and exploit the technology?
- Is the idea ‘ready' – is the timing right?
- Can we make a difference?
5. Continuously improving our capability
We develop our people and processes to be fast, flexible, and focused on business needs and develop measures to ensure that we are effective and deliver value for money.