Keston Technologies Services

Feasibility Study and Operational Plan for an Innovation Network in Yorkshire, UK

 

Project overview

Keston Technologies undertook the design, development and initial implementation of an Advanced Materials Solutions Innovation Network in Yorkshire and Humberside. This initiative is a multi-sectoral network designed to stimulate effective knowledge and technology transfer between participants. The Network aims to help regional companies to identify and respond to future business challenges and opportunities. It is doing this through identifying a number of pertinent industry-led topics, via a range of future proofing activities, and facilitating consortia of companies through the subsequent innovation journey in order to deliver increased competitiveness and business growth. The Innovation Network is clearly differentiated from single company focused support initiatives, such as the Innovation Support Service, but coordinates activities in order to ensure smooth and efficient interfaces.

 

Issues

A key issue that had to be addressed in the study was to develop a methodology for the Innovation Network on a robust strategic foundation. This was achieved through analysing the results of a number of stakeholder interviews and examining a range of best practices and case studies in order to design a Network that is able to play a key role in bringing together companies with the potential to grow through innovation and respond to key external challenges or opportunities. It was decided to make the Network business-led in order to encourage collaboration and the free exchange of ideas in areas of mutual technical and commercial interest.

 

Outcomes achieved

Under the design and development contract, a Feasibility Study and Operational Plan for the establishment of the Innovation Network was developed. This was successful in securing investment for the initiative. The Network is now operational and stimulating innovation through collaborative projects, by helping companies and groups of companies through the technological innovation process.