UK G8 SUMMIT 2013: Big Innovation Centre Showcase – FAST FORWARD 2025

UK holds the Presidency of the G8.

As part of the G8 Innovation Conference on the 14th of June 2013, delegates visited various innovation centres throughout London to get a hands on experience of the UK’s potential to innovate. After a thorough selection process, the Big Innovation Centre was proud to be one of the few showcased centres.

The aims of the events were to promote the UK’s G8 agenda prior to the G8 Top-meeting. Delegates included up to 250 leading international entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, creatives and policy makers from more than 22 different countries.

FAST FORWARD 2025: Big Innovation Centre’s Vision for 2025 was produced in an animated video.  The story-board was co-created by our partners, led by Professor Birgitte Andersen, Director of Big Innovation Centre. Link to video and showcase

Delegates were shown the UK as a thriving global open innovation and investment hub. This is the vision shared by the world leading organisations who make up the Big Innovation Centre, and originally presented in a visionary launch blog [LINK TO LAUNCH BLOG] at our launch in 2011 We hope the G8 Summit 2013 will work with us to help unleash this vision across the world.

We showcased how disruptive technologies (such as digital, internet of things, sensor technology), business models and approaches to R&D are transforming health delivery, domestic energy, and finance. We focused on how, through open innovation, multinational corporations engage with networks of SMEs, research facilities, entrepreneurs and an enterprising state to deliver this positive vision of the future.

  • The event featured an animation-video which brings to life the Big Innovation Centre’s vision [LINK TO LAUNCH BLOG], Ted-type-talks, followed by a Q&A with our expert panel on how we will reach that goal.
  • Fast Forward 2025: The world established as a global open innovation and investment hub – G8 Summit LINK to brochure

NOTE: Prime Minister David Cameron held the UK Presidency of G8 2013. 

Event Panel



  • Will Hutton (Chair of Big Innovation Centre and Principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford)


  • Birgitte  Andersen (Director, Big Innovation Centre)
  • Iain Gray (CEO, Technology Strategy Board)
  • Jon Hague (Vice President Open Innovation, Unilever)
  • Shaygan Kheradpir (Chief Operations & Technology Officer, Barclays)
  • Anita Kidgel (Vice President Corporate Strategy, GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Jean-Benoit Ritz (UK R&D Coordination Director, EDF Energy)


See more photos from our G8 Delegation showcase event in our gallery

See photos from our official G8 Delegation reception in our gallery 

Find out more about the G8 Innovation Conference, including Big Innovation Centre’s involvement by visiting the official site



Smart fridges and toothbrushes: ideas meant to show G8 Britain’s got talent

Big Innovation Centre’s publicity of the showcase in the Guardian:

 “Delegates will also have the chance to visit the Big Innovation Centre, which describes itself as a “do tank” that wants to kickstart innovation, by bringing together some of Britain’s biggest companies, such as Barclays, GSK and BAE Systems, as well as a university consortium that includes Oxford, Cambridge and University College London.

“We are the UK’s leading test bed for open innovation,” said Birgitte Andersen, economics professor and director of the centre. Its steering group includes senior corporate executives, scientists, an economist, the chief executive of the Design Council and the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger.

Andersen believes companies can achieve more by working together than by innovating alone – a big departure from how innovation happened in the past. Traditionally, companies had centrally planned research and development departments, where new ideas were carefully guarded secrets. Governments stayed in the background and helped to support these companies by building up academic institutions.

Companies and academia are now using a more collaborative approach, says Andersen. “The new paradigm that the government needs to look at is open innovation. It is not small or medium or large [companies], it is not government, nor universities, it is about how they all work together.”

This open model of innovation requires an enterprising state, she adds, where government takes an active role in promoting innovation.

By 2025 she thinks large companies will be working with universities, with government playing a decisive role, to solve problems in innovative ways.

Andersen wants the G8 delegates to take home a broader view of innovation. In her view it is as much about creating services or reorganising supply chains, as it is about innovation in the lab. “Most of the time it doesn’t end up as a patent, it doesn’t show up in R&D spending.”

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