INNOVATION, PARTNERSHIPS AND FUNDING
We believe that innovation is not simply the commercialisation of ideas but is the embodiment of ideas for the good of society and the economy. Innovation Point will drive the commercial exploitation of ideas for the benefit of the Welsh economy and society. Simply, we will assist companies to innovate more and better.
We do this by:
being a catalyst for innovation led growth in Wales, exploiting available innovation funding and creating opportunities for the commercial gain of Welsh businesses.
building partnerships, addressing real and perceived barriers and providing hands on help to companies to stimulate innovation enabled growth.
continuing to grow Wales’ reputation amongst innovation stakeholders and investors both domestically and internationally.
we are a recognised, trusted enabler of innovation in Wales through creative and dynamic thought leadership and support.
Innovation Point is not a research agency, nor a new ‘funding source’ for innovation. We seek to foster an environment that encourages new ideas and innovative thinking. We build partnerships and collaborations that are based on trust and which act to successfully leverage the full portfolio of existing investment opportunities that Wales should exploit for commercial gain.
We are already working on opportunities with multiple partners around Smart Cities, Energy, Cyber Security and Accelerators. We are building communities by delivering the Digital Festival event and hosting the Digital Tuesday forum. We have helped to establish the National Software Academy and the National Cyber Security Academy and are helping businesses to leverage the skills being developed.
A COLLABORATION EXAMPLE
Innovation Point supported and submitted a proposal in response to the ‘Internet of Things (IoT) cities demonstrator’ call from InnovateUK.
The IoT Cities Demonstrator was worth £10M, and was required to demonstrate the social and economic benefit which would result from a large scale implementation of IoT technologies in a Smart Cities context.
This opportunity required a complex consortium structure involving SMEs, major corporate partners, and academia, under the leadership of a city authority. Additionally, the opportunity required a coherent narrative, a story of regional transformation enabled by the Internet of Things that would exemplify the benefits that would result from awarding the funding to the region.
Working in close collaboration with Cardiff City Council, Swansea City Council and Newport City Council, Innovation Point acted as the ‘opportunity lead’ for this bid, drawing together the consortium, setting the strategy and writing the bid. In addition to the regional authorities, the consortium included:
Innovation Centre for Enterprise in Wales Ltd
Tradebox Media LTD
VocalEyes Digital Democracy Ltd
Copper Horse Solutions Ltd
Innovation Point generated an underpinning narrative based on a regional strategy of economic transformation to evidence the bid. Into this strategy Innovation Point introduced a series of coherent projects, each led by consortium members to create a single, coherent and compelling proposal showcasing the capabilities and opportunities of the South Wales region.
The narrative, based around the concept of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport collaborating in a ‘Coastal Connected Cities’ initiative, articulated a programme focussed on implementing social change, rather than delivering technology for technology’s sake.
This proposal, while not eventually winning the funding, has positioned Innovation Point, and the South Wales region firmly in the sights of InnovateUK, and established the region as a vibrant, innovative player in the UK Internet of Things and Smart Cities landscape. As a consequence, new opportunities for collaboration have been opened up with businesses and City Authorities across the UK, with dialogue continuing with InnovateUK, and new opportunities for funding in digital growth projects being identified.
national software academy & cyber security academy
The National Software Academy and the Cyber Security Academy are collaborative partnerships between academia, Welsh Government, Innovation Point and industry to help address the digital skills gap that industry is facing. The unique way that undergraduate students “learn by doing”, working on live projects provided by industry, rather than through lectures aims for our graduates to be work-ready. Industry has welcomed the opportunity to work with undergraduates who could be their future highly skilled work-force.
The Cardiff University’s National Software Academy (NSA) is helping to address the national shortage of skilled software engineering graduates. Based in Newport, the National Software Academy delivers an innovative undergraduate applied BSc. degree, designed in collaboration with industry, with a focus on the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience required to be immediately effective as a software engineer http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/software-academy . Testaments from industry that have offered NSA students summer placements has been extremely positive, recognising the students’ ability to very quickly understand the work-place and take on new challenges. The first cohort of graduates from the NSA all entered the workplace or went on to further academic study.
University of South Wales’ National Cyber Security Academy (NCSA), again based in Newport at the University’s City Campus has developed an Applied Cyber Security undergraduate degree course in collaboration with industry partners. The students work with real clients on a variety of cybersecurity projects aligned to the curriculum. https://www.southwales.ac.uk/courses/bsc-hons-applied-cyber-security/