Launch of Big Innovation Centre

15th September 2011

Launch week from 6th to 15th of September 2011

Big Innovation Centre was launched in London by the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the 8th of September 2011.

It was initially business backed by 10 companies as core sponsors, the UK Technology Strategy Board, private trusts and some universities (see list below)

Note: The Big Innovation Centre initiative sat within The Work Foundation with Professor Birgitte Andersen as the Director driving the vision and Will Hutton as the Chair driving the public purpose, until it’s demerger on 4th of August 2014 when it became an independent company and relaunched with Birgitte and Will as co-founders.

Championing a world class innovation and investment ecosystem in the UK

The Big Innovation Centre will think, influence and do, so contributing to make Britain a global innovation hub.

“Our vision is to make the UK a World Class Global Innovation and Investment Hub by 2025, and to build similar initiatives elsewhere.” Director of Big Innovation Centre vision, Professor Birgitte Andersen

“I hope that in 15 years’ time Britain has recognisably lifted its growth rate and its sustainability, and that one of the drivers of improvement will have been the thinking, ideas and example set by the Big Innovation Centre.” Chair of Steering Group, Will Hutton

We aim to change Britain – to deliver a step-change in its capacity to innovate and generate wealth. Nothing more; nothing less 

Launch week:

  • Vision 2025 blog: Fast forward to 2025: Britain established as a global innovation hub (6th of September 2011, Professor Birgitte Andersen) – LINK TO SHOWCASE
  • Catalyst blog: A step-change for UK growth and innovation (7th of September 2011, Professor Birgitte Andersen and Will Hutton) – LINK TO SHOWCASE
  • Launch report: Making the UK a Global Innovation Hub How business, finance and an enterprising state can transform the UK (8th of September 2011, Birgitte Andersen, Ian Brinkley and Will Hutton) – LINK TO REPORT

 

  • EVENT 1: OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT of BIG INNOVATION CENTRE (8th of September 2018) – See event details below.
  • Partner blog: Why the GSK is proud to be a part of the Big Innovation Centre (12th September 2011, Dr Jackie Parkin) – LINK TO SHOWCASE
  • EVENT 2: PARTNER EVENT with Google: THE BIG DIGITAL DEBATE – See event details below. (see also Why is it so hard to make money on the web?” – LINK TO SHOWCASE
  • EVENT 3: HUB IN A DAY: Silicon Roundabout to Silicon Valley: The future of Tech. (14 September 2011) This event was co-hosted with the Future of London. – See event details below.
  • EVENT 4: TASKFORCE MEETING: The Public Innovation Challenge. This was a high-profile roundtable conversation between the Big Innovation Centre, government (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, UK) and key figures from the innovation community. (15 September 2011)

Launch of taskforces:

The five working groups or taskforces that Big Innovation Centre defined for the launch in 2011 address the founding pillars of the ecosystem which need to work together for building innovation and investment hubs:

  1. Building innovative markets, places and networks
  2. Building an innovation friendly financial system
  3. Universities as interactive partners
  4. Skills for Innovation
  5. Enterprising state: Public action to drive private innovation

The Roundel of Big Innovation Centre logo is formed from those five overlapping crescents, one for each taskforce. Collectively, the roundel of the Big Innovation Centre logo signifies a ‘hub’ where people and ideas can come together in open innovation forums:

Vision and mission at launch 2011

  • The Big Innovation Centre exists to help catalyse the development of the UK to build a world class innovation ecosystem by 2025 and grow the UK economy out of its current crisis.
  • The UK would become one of the hubs of the global innovation system – one of the principal ‘go-to’ places where ideas are shared, tested and realised.
  • Our aim is to exhibit this approach – co-creation and open innovation – in our own structures and processes.

Business concept

  • Ecosystem approach (markets-places-networks, banking and innovation finance, university-business links, business models, skills, enterprising state)
  • Open Innovation (business models, university as co-creator, policy)
  • Independent view: Evidence based policy recommendations
  • Committed: To be working closely with the government on innovation and growth and to build a truly enterprising state.

Founding strategic sponsoring partners at launch: representation of the ecosystem

Companies

  1. BAE Systems
  2. Barclays
  3. EDF Energy
  4. Guardian
  5. Google
  6. GSK
  7. MAN Group
  8. NESTA
  9. PwC
  10. Unilever

Public innovation agent, universities and trusts

  1. Technology Strategy Board
  2. University Consortium (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Leeds, Newcastle University, University of Oxford, Sheffield University, UCL (University College London), University Alliance
  3. Lord Sainsbury
  4. Jon Moulton

Very shortly after the launch we were also joined by

  1. UK Design Council
  2. Experian
  3. IPA
  4. Logica

EVENT 1 - OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT of BIG INNOVATION CENTRE, 8th of September

8th of September 2011, evening

Speakers at the launch

Openings:

  • Will Hutton, Chair, Big Innovation Centre
  • Professor Birgitte Andersen, Director, Big Innovation Centre
  • Professor Paul Wellings, Vice Chancellor, Lancaster University

Short statement on “Building a Global Innovation Hub” from some of organisations the Big Innovation Centre will be working with:

  • Andrew Miller, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Media Group
  • Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive, Barclays Bank
  • Dr Jackie Parkin, VP & Medicine Development Leader, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Luke Raskino, New Business Unit Director, Unilever
  • Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Oxford

Address from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:

  • Hon. Dr. Vincent Cable MP, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills

Food and cocktails:

  • It was amazing bites of fusion food where the look of the food didn’t give away the taste.
  • A Big Innovation Centre branded muffin was given to people on departure.

EVENT 2 - THE BIG DIGITAL DEBATE. Making the web pay: How can the creative industries succeed online?

Event details

  • Date: Monday 12th September 2011
  • Evening debate with drinks and networking.
  • Venue: Google UK, Central Saint Giles, Saint Giles Passage, London, WC2H 8LA

Opening

  • Introduction from: Matt Brittin, Managing Director, Google UK
  • Provocation from: Andrew Sissons, Lead Researcher: Markets, place & networks

Chair: Benjamin Cohen, Business and Technology Correspondent, Channel 4 News

Panel

  • Professor Birgitte Andersen, Director, Big Innovation Centre
  • Alan Freeman, Executive Director, Guardian News and Media
  • Simon Bell, Head of Strategic Partnership and Licensing, British Library
  • Stian Westlake, Executive Director in Policy and Research, NESTA

Senior industry representative to be confirmed

Provocation questions for the event:

The digital dilemma

The internet has changed the economy – and our lives – for good. Over the last decade the internet economy has been a key driver of growth and jobs and today Britain leads the world on ecommerce, spending more and exporting more than anyone else. By 2015, the internet economy is forecast to rise to 10% of UK GDP.

But while the internet economy is a powerhouse of growth for the UK, creative industries, from film-makers to newspapers, are under more pressure than ever before to make the web pay for their content.

The result is an explosion of innovation in high-quality content online. Great content is being delivered in new ways, through platforms like Netflix or iTunes, to new fast-growing formats, like Kindle or tablets. But what are the models of innovation that will help high-quality providers grow?

Different players are betting on different models: advertising-driven, or subscription-based. But can either approach succeed?

And consumer demands are changing too – with news becoming quicker, faster, and fewer than 140 characters. And with the bulk of the world’s online videos just a few minutes long – how will what we think of as high-quality content evolve in the future?

This debate addressed such questions as:

  • What business models can firms adopt to make money in the digital economy?
  • What will high-quality content look like in 15 years: could YouTube ever produce an Oscar winner, or a Twitter feed win the Man Booker Prize?
  • If traditional content providers, such as newspapers, are forced to cut back on journalists, what would the implications be for British society?
  • What does this mean for policy? Should we be intervening differently?

Event publications

  • Film of the event
  • Blog of the Event Why is it so hard to make money on the web?”(Birgitte Andersen) – LINK TO BLOG)
  • Publication of the Event: “The Big Digital Dilemma – How should we pay for the web”  LINK to report

EVENT 3 - HUB IN A DAY: Silicon Roundabout to Silicon Valley

Event details

Date: 14th September 2011, Big Innovation Centre, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD

Something is stirring in East London…We are firmly on the side of the high-growth, highly innovative companies of the future. Don’t doubt our ambition.” David Cameron, November 2010

The government has launched the East London Tech City initiative designed to build on the existing cluster of technology companies with the aim of creating a world-class technology hub to emulate the success achieved by Silicon Valley. David Cameron has cited the willingness of major companies, including Cisco, Intel, British Telecom, Barclays and Google, to invest in the area as evidence that a major opportunity exists to transform the east of London. But does Tech City really have the potential to deliver?

In particular, this event explored the following questions:

  • What are the development challenges and opportunities for Tech City going forward?
  • What role is there for policy makers to help the area realise its potential?

This event was co-hosted with the Future of London.

EVENT 4 - TASKFORCE MEETING: The Public Innovation Challenge

This was a high-profile roundtable conversation between the Big Innovation Centre, government (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) and key figures from the innovation community. (15 September 2011)

Notes:

The Big Innovation Centre initiative sat within The Work Foundation with Professor Birgitte Andersen as the Director driving the vision and Will Hutton as the Chair driving the public purpose, until it’s demerger on 4th of August 2014 when it became an independent company and relaunched with Birgitte and Will as co-founders.