Building innovative markets, places and networks
Innovation can come from anywhere, but it tends to be concentrated in certain areas. New technologies – from the steam engine to the internet – can generate waves of rapid innovation. New demands and challenges on the economy – such as ageing populations or climate change – provide huge opportunities for innovators. This means that some parts of the economy grow faster than others and that some places benefit while others struggle. If we are to build a national innovation ecosystem in the UK we need to understand these trends and reflect how innovation works in practice.
The Big Innovation Centre will pursue a wide-ranging research agenda in this area, broadly covering three areas:
- Innovative markets – growth tends to be concentrated in relatively few industries. Which parts of the UK economy are most likely to experience rapid growth over the coming decades? What can we do to ensure their success?
- Changing networks and business models – as the global economy changes, businesses are adopting new models and forming new networks with one another. How can we support these networks to make UK business successful?
- Innovative places – some towns and cities are more innovative than others, which can create serious disparities within the UK. How can we help innovative places grow while enabling struggling areas to catch up?
- What are the business models of the future in areas such as the digital economy and the low-carbon economy? How can government help to make new business models viable and work effectively without creating an unlevel playing field?
- How does demand interact with and drive innovation? How can businesses respond to and shape consumer demand?
- What is open innovation? What can be done by different players to foster and benefit from open innovation practices?
- How can service firms harmonise open business models with intellectual property rights?
- How does the UK's design industry fit into a global context? How can UK design firms better interact with the intellectual property system?
- How does increasing globalisation interact with the innovation system at a local level?
- How can the UK build on its historical success in the creative industries? What can be done by various industry actors to foster innovation in this area?
- How can an enterprising state take action to create new markets and make existing ones more efficient and dynamic?