Providing support to London based SMEs for new product and service development
1. Co-Innovate facilitates a pipeline of potential points of engagement based on ideas, challenges and opportunities. These can come from: companies, organisations and networks in the London region with an active interest in NPD, specific NDP needs and companies, such as suppliers, who have interests in being part of the concept-to-delivery process. We’re actively interested in collaborating with organisations who share interests in the input and output from this funnel.
2. A compelling feature of Co-Innovate is the free* diagnostic and mentoring support the project will provide to participating companies. Our research has shown that SMEs in particular often face many barriers to developing effective innovation. For example lack of strategic management time, bureaucracy associated with applying for funding and support, or lack of specific NDP experience. Two Co-Innovate Directors, with extensive business and NPD experience, will conduct initial diagnostics and provide an on-going relationship with the participating businesses throughout their collaboration with the project. This continuous point of contact will ensure that the project delivers the business need.
3. Over the two year project period a series of 12 Co-Innovate workshops will be held bringing together Brunel researchers and sector experts in business opportunity or challenge areas, for example within the food, transport and logistics, IT, energy or manufacturing sectors. These are all fields where Brunel is conducting, often multi-million pound, research projects. The workshops are planned to generate more specific ideas and opportunities which can subsequently be transformed into further Co-Innovation projects with direct benefits for collaborators. A series of workshop topics has been identified and Co-Innovate is keen to hear from businesses and organisations who have interests in these fields or others and are interested in developing the scoping of future workshop events.
4. Whether generated by Co-Innovate workshops or direct opportunities from participating companies, the Co-Innovate mentors will develop detailed proposals for new product and service development derived from these front end activities and importantly, harnessing the considerable resources available within the University and its networks. An indicative menu of potential for bespoke support packages for participating SMEs includes:
- Ongoing innovation and NPD mentoring and commercialisation advice
- Development of Knowledge Transfer Partnership funded projects and other research funding bid opportunities linked to NPD
- Crowd-sourcing project inputs with research experts and students
- Prototyping and testing support for NPD
- Financial and tactical support for engaging placement students or graduates
5. Key to the success of Co-Innovate is the achievement of tangible NPD results in the form of new products, services and economic uplift, new and safeguarded employment resulting from this activity. Therefore Co-Innovate has an on-going interest in delivering the identified development packages. Co-Innovate will make use of the considerable range of University and network opportunities to both deliver and publicise practical outcomes from all our activities.