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Business innovation: Innovate UK’s Innovate2Succeed Programme

Written by Andrew Clark on 13 June 2017

Improve the way you manage innovation, commercialise great ideas and grow your business. 

EEN innovation support covers the following areas: 

  • Vision and strategy
  • Market readiness and alignment
  • Innovation process and results
  • Collaboration
  • Intellectual Property 
  • Finance for growth
  • Support for growth

Innovation should be a driving force in your business, helping you launch new products or services at home and abroad. 

 

If your business is already up and running, we can help you nurture innovation more effectively in order to rapidly commercialise concepts, scale up your business and grow your bottom line. 

 

We do this by helping you improve your innovation management, access funding and finance, and nurture and launch your best new ideas. 

 

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What is the Innovate2Succeed Programme & how can it help?

 

The Innovate2Succeed Programme offers 7-9 days of fully funded coaching and mentoring support to businesses. This will look at diagnosing any pain points your business is experiencing as well as identifying any barriers to commercialisation and growth. You’ll be given one-to-one support bespoke to your business to help you overcome these barriers.

 

At the end of the programme, you will see:

 

  • Increased productivity
  • Increase in jobs
  • Products & tech launched
  • Funding & finance raised
  • Increase in turnover

 

We’ve successfully helped a number of businesses thrive and grow through our Innovate2Succeed programme. 

 

This year, we offered support to the top three businesses at the Merseyside Innovation Awards. The three year programme helped award winner DriveNet ensure their proposal was attractive to potential investors as well as working with their team on business modelling. Our support enabled the company to secure substantial equity investment from numerous high net worth individuals. The other two businesses who received our support received guidance on developing new products and expanding internationally.

 

Our Innovate2Succeed programme helped chemical etching company Qualitetch to thrive in a niche market. The company grew substantially and saw a clear increase in business as a result of participation. Here’s what we helped Qualitetch achieve:

 

  • 200% increase in profits last year
  • 300% improvement in efficiency
  • 35% increase in turnover last year
  • Staff grown from 6 to 36

 

How can we support your business’ innovation?

 

Our fully funded support comes in a number of varying shapes and sizes, with one-to-one bespoke assistance tailored to your business. Read on to explore the type of support and help we can offer for your company.

 

Vision and business strategy

 

Support to improve ambition, leadership and culture.  Activities could include:

 

  • Vision, values and mission definition
  • Customer profiling and value proposition
  • How to generate and validate new ideas
  • Business Model development

 

Market readiness and alignment 

 

Support to understand the commercial potential of a product/service/technology and how to build market knowledge.  Activities could include:

 

  • Identifying key value propositions
  • Understanding the market potential
  • Advice around market launch strategies
  • Identification of international collaboration opportunities
  • Understanding industry value chain (key players, intermediaries, actors involved in primary activities…) 
  • Advise on marketing strategies
  • Connection with relevant stakeholders and strategic partners to validate technology

 

Innovation process and results

 

Support to develop innovation management processes.  Activities could include:

 

  • Techniques to encourage idea generation
  • Development of a strong innovation culture
  • Principles of effective product or process development
  • Setting project success criteria
  • Principles of project management (including expertise sourcing, outsourcing, timelines and budgeting)
  • Establishing clear value propositions for technology driven innovation
  • How to review and learn from innovation projects​​​​​​​

 

Collaboration 

 

Support for global research and technology business collaboration to enable growth and scaling.  Activities could include:

 

  • Advice around collaboration activities
  • Identifying UK and international partners

​​​​​​​

Intellectual Property 

 

Support with understanding and protecting IP.  Activities could include:

 

  • Identifying different types of IP and protection:  patents, trademarks, design rights, copyright, NDAs, etc
  • Awareness of patent, trademark and design registration search tools
  • Advice on processes to capture and review IP
  • UK and international protection strategies
  • Where to get appropriate professional advice

​​​​​​​

Finance for growth

 

Support with identifying and accessing finance and funding for your business.  Activities could include:​​​​​​​

 

  • Understanding the basics of financial management
  • Mapping out a finance strategy
  • Providing information about grant funding programmes
  • Reviewing completed grant funding applications
  • Understanding the principles and sources of loan finance
  • Understanding of benefits of HMRC R&D tax credits and patent box schemes
  • Understanding the principles of equity finance and becoming investment ready

 

Support for growth  

 

Engagement with innovation support landscape.  Activities could include:

​​​​​​​

  • Introduction to the innovation support landscape (Innovate UK family, national-level programmes, key local programmes)
  • Assistance to engage with appropriate business accelerator programmes

 

Why is business innovation important?

 

Business innovation is a driving force.

 

It can help you grow, scale up and commercialise concepts - key to progressing forwards and standing out from your competition.

 

However, introducing new processes and implementing change can be difficult. There are a number of factors to consider and difficulties to contend with. 

 

What is innovation in business?

 

To define innovation in business is simple, yet it means something different for every company. 

 

It’s when an organisation implements certain changes and puts new products or services in place. This could be improving methods already used, or introducing something entirely new. 

 

The long term goal is always to drive the business forwards in some way and prevent stagnation. The meaning of this varies between organisations; it could be increasing output, efficiency or productivity, for example.

 

Examples of innovation in business

 

Examples of businesses innovating can be seen everywhere, transcending a wide variety of sectors. 

 

Many different companies have upgraded their platforms to make them more accessible and improve user experience. It can also come in the form of changing the face of a particular sector as it’s formerly recognised. This could be making it digital, for example. From retail to social media, the impact and benefits of innovation can be felt by both customers and the businesses themselves.

 

But, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary and transform an entire sector. It could simply be improving an internal system, but the knock-on impacts of this can be enormous.

 

It’s important to distinguish the difference between invention and innovation. The two are linked, however innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be about creating something new. It’s more about applying an existing concept to improve on something.

 

Three strands of business growth strategies

 

Innovation takes many forms, varying business to business.

 

However, there are three main models:

 

Revenue model innovation

 

This is concerned with profits and the ways to increase them. For many organisations, this is the top priority and primary concern!

 

It focuses on the products or services used internally, and ways to improve current methods. It also analyses the competition and what they’re doing, to ensure the company keeps up - or surpasses them.

 

Industry model innovation

 

This is the most radical - where a business choose to change their industry entirely, or create a new one.

 

Business model innovation

 

This is concerned with improving the techniques and methods already used. It can discover new ways to find a business partner, implement new technologies or upgrade particular systems. 

 

It also ensures all the correct processes are being used. This could be legally protecting intellectual property or following certain standards. 

 

What is the purpose of innovation in a business environment?

 

What’s the importance of innovation in business? What can you hope to achieve? Why should it be part of your business strategy? 

 

Let’s take a closer look at the value you can create if you manage to successfully innovate:

 

Commercialise concepts

 

Looking for ways to turn ideas into reality? For numerous organisations, innovation is the key. 

 

Successful commercialisation requires businesses to seize market opportunities and stand out from the crowd. Without the willingness to innovate, these vital steps will be much more difficult.

 

When doing your market research - identify what your competition is doing. How can your business do it better?

 

Scaling up

 

If done well, innovation can lead to business growth and expansion. This could be pulling in new, talented employees or finding access to finance, for example.

 

It will also likely make your organisation more attractive to investors. 

 

Failure to adapt and implement necessary changes might mean that your business stagnates. 

 

Growing your bottom line

 

Ultimately, innovating can lead to more revenue; growing your net earnings. There are a number of ways it can lead to this, for example finding new revenue opportunities or increasing output.

 

Internal inefficiency can cause a number of problems, slowing your business down dramatically. From processes to products, innovation can help solve any of these issues. As a result, many businesses can grow their bottom line. 

 

How to secure innovation and change in business

 

Clearly - there’s an abundance of benefits that go hand in hand with successful innovation. 

 

Now all that’s left is to start driving towards business growth.

 

So, how do you get there?

 

We can help

 

We can help you nurture innovation more effectively in order to rapidly achieve progression. 

 

We do this by helping you improve your innovation management, access funding and finance, and nurture and launch your best new ideas. This also includes international market expansion

 

We’ll ensure you have all the tools and advice you need to drive forwards.