12 Aug 2020

What is Innovation?

Vincent Seddon
Commercial Director

Innovation is a well-known buzz word. It is used to describe new ‘things’ everywhere; whether it be for technology, apps, software, an approach to business, a workplace or events. Some would accuse the word of being over-used and having lost its meaning.

What does innovation mean to you?

If you search the word ‘innovation’ online, there are numerous definitions;

  • “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay”
  • “(the use of) a new idea or method”
  • “the introduction of something new”

While all the above definitions allude to innovation being something new, they lack the context required to define its full meaning, especially when applying it to the world of Grant Funding.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recognises innovation as “the application of knowledge of ideas for the development of products, services or processes – whether in business, public services, or non-profit sectors.”

UKRI is the umbrella organisation in which many of the UK Government funding bodies sit – for example; Medical Research Council (MRC), Research England and Innovate UK – their primary function is to fund innovation in the UK.

By working with businesses applying for funding via UKRI and similar funding bodies for over 15 years, TBAT have learnt what is required to reach the level of ‘innovation’ to fund a project.

There are a handful of boxes that need to be ticked in order to qualify a project as ‘innovative’ and viable for UKRI to invest public money;

  • The project must be disruptive in its intended market
  • The projected end-result must be above the current state-of-the-art available
  • The project must result in a product/process/service that is commercially viable
  • The project must have wider impact, which can be societal, economic & environmental

Innovation doesn’t have to be a brand-new invention; in fact, it very rarely is! It can be a novel way to use an existing service, process or product – even in a different industry – or to apply a new technology to improve what’s currently available.

Everyday, TBAT are working with businesses across the UK that are inspired to innovate. Here are a few examples of innovative products and services that have benefitted from TBAT’s support to access funding and bring their ideas to fruition:

  • Lightweight adhesive tape for metal to metal and metal to composite applications, primarily for the automotive industry.
  • AI-driven, automated and customised creative campaigns for the digital ad industry.
  • Connected and autonomous vehicle risk-mitigating software.

If you are considering whether your innovation is cutting-edge and disruptive enough to be awarded funding, and need some open, honest and constructive advice – get in touch with TBAT here.

TBAT’s range of services are available to help you scope innovation opportunities that match your project and offer support to guide you through funding your entire R&D lifecycle.

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Assists organisations in accessing research and development grant funding across a range of UK and EU schemes and industry sectors.

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