Minutes of the 1st meeting of the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum University of Edinburgh Business School, 20 May 2015

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1 Minutes of the 1st meeting of the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum University of Edinburgh Business School, 20 May 2015 The following members of the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum were present: John Swinney (Chair), Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy Jamie Coleman, Codebase James Dunbar, New Start Highland Richard Erskine, Statoil Technology Invest Prof. Patricia Findlay, University of Strathclyde Chris van der Kuyl, Entrepreneurial Scotland Prof. Irene McAra-McWilliam, Glasgow School of Art Derek Norwood, Devro plc Dr. Deborah O Neil, Novabiotics Ken Scott, Alexander Dennis Ltd Dr. Tracy Shimmield, Scottish Marine Institute John Waddell, Archangel Kevin Baughan, Innovate UK Melfort Campbell, Innovation Scotland Forum Donna Chisholm, Highland and Islands Enterprise Cathie Cowan, Health Innovation Partnership Board Paul Hagan, Scottish Funding Council Jim Watson, Scottish Enterprise In attendance: Graeme Dickson, Scottish Government Director General Enterprise, Environment & Innovation Gary Gillespie, Scottish Government Chief Economic Adviser Kevin Brady, Scottish Government Office of the Chief Economic Adviser Roddy Macdonald, Scottish Government Economic Development Directorate Apologies: Shane Corstorphine, Skyscanner Prof. Anne Glover, University of Aberdeen Will Hutton, Big Innovation Centre Geoff Mulgan, Nesta; and, Erin Platts, Silicon Valley Bank UK Secretariat: Karen McAvenue, Scottish Government Innovation Strategy Team Lynne Blair, Scottish Government Innovation Strategy Team June Love, Scottish Government Innovation Strategy Team 1

2 Purpose This note provides an overview of the key points arising during the first meeting of the Scotland Can Do Innovation Forum (henceforth referred to as the Forum ). Agenda item 1 - Welcome The Deputy First Minister (DFM) welcomed members, thanking them for their commitment to the Forum. Agenda item 2 Forum Remit and Terms of Reference These were agreed, without discussion. Agenda item 3 - Introductory session Each member was invited to introduce themself briefly and state their key issues. The DFM summed up the session, noting that the responses fell into three categories: Culture, Connections and Ambition. Points raised under each of these headings by members included: Culture Embed Embed innovation culture in education Change the culture in our universities and harness expertise across all of sectors and disciplines Huge cultural changes across government public services and education are required to help drive up demand for innovation We need to create a culture of innovation and be creative in the types of businesses we build. Celebrate Understand and celebrate the good practice that is already happening in Scotland: Practical and useful innovation happens all the time and we need to capture that can do attitude A lot of activity and innovation that never sees the light of day make it visible We need to be honest about where we are poor and we need to highlight our successes. Inform We need to make innovation relevant to all and counter the impression that it is only about the new and the zappy. Whilst this is the case it is also true that everyday activities can be innovative. Innovation can be social technological or cultural. It is a broad spectrum Support entrepreneurship that will make a difference Innovation should be broadly based and we need to give people incentives to be innovative We over emphasise the role of R&D in the innovation spectrum and we need to take a broader focus 2

3 Develop Turn more of our potential into capital Engage citizens and unleash their potential so that we can make productive use of the high level of skills we have in the workforce Quality company building and engineering is urgently needed: Scotland lacks people who know how to build great companies Develop creative leadership and an appetite for prototyping Rural innovation is important don t forget that for many parts of Scotland even the UK market can seem remote. Courage Proceed until apprehended Cut bureaucracy Be brave - for example be pragmatic about how the public sector could benefit from working with private industry Accept that we will fail but also that when we do win, we can win big To move forward we cannot keep doing what we used to do Take a longer term outlook esp for initiatives such as the innovation centres Use FDI to best effect - we need to do all we can to secure increased levels of investment and demonstrate more effectively how Scotland is a great place to locate Connections Depth Clearly articulate our ambition and collaborate around that. Innovation is dependent on partnerships with academia, suppliers and customers We work together but we do not mix and we need a leading cohort who can lead by example Agree on the problems that we need to solve and use each other to help identify answers Use appreciative inquiry and build on our successes Speed We need to work at speed to find the points of connection where we can collaborate to make a difference We also need more cross learning about what works and try things in context Public Sector Fast and responsive government support NHS needs to look outside health to work in partnership with others Need to align public sector spending Integrate the strengths of Innovate UK with local growth agendas Academia and Industry Links between academia and industry need to improve - business finds it frustrating to work with universities and vice versa. Relationship needs to be increasingly porous 3

4 Academics can take practical steps such as two way secondments Link innovation activities to the REF How can we make more of the intellectual property in our HEIs? Need to do some brand innovation in Scotland Business to Business Collaborations and learning between business (supply chain and customers) need to increase Ambition Targets The most innovative nation in the world? What does this mean How do we achieve it? Demand Develop more ambitious SMEs Make progress raising business investment in innovation Although we are good we can always be better How to make use of all our our people assets, especially those in the workplace We need to finds ways of changing the excluded from being a costly expense into a societal asset The following issues and possible actions were raised during further discussion: There could be an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of unconditional collaboration by leading by example; developing new procedures and practices and above all allow this collaborative work to happen quickly. Universities could consider donating Intellectual Property (IP) to encourage unconditional collaboration to begin. This could spur industry-wide innovation and demonstrate the value of innovation to the individual companies involved. It is important that the terminology used is inclusive and the message is articulated clearly; innovation is not the purview of high-tech firms. We should not be afraid to concentrate on areas in which we wish Scotland to excel. We want Scotland to be the most innovative nation in the world, and should consider how to get that message out there both effectively and inclusively. SMEs do not always appreciate that innovation is relevant to them and can deliver benefits which lead to profit and success. By using practical examples to demonstrate the value of innovation, companies could be encouraged to Innovate. The right type of support is essential. It should be recognised that it can be difficult for some companies to include and encourage innovation in their processes without restructuring, whereas companies that naturally innovate to meet market needs, such as technology companies, develop with a structure which allows innovation to flourish. 4

5 Targets can act as a disincentive, particularly in the public sector. It is just as important to learn and progress from failure as it is from success; ideas don t always work and it is important to fail fast then move on. Risk and appetite for risk should be recognised. Finland is an example of a country with a high risk appetite. Their message is that we are all in this together and failure is allowed. Agenda item 4 - State of the Nation The Scottish Government s Economic Strategy highlights four priority areas; investment; innovation; inclusive growth; internationalisation. Innovation goes through all these strands; Innovation is crucial to everything we do. Companies that do not innovate, do not survive; Innovative businesses can increase exports and take the whole supply chain with them; Innovation can help reduce inequalities; a company good at innovation is likely to be good at inclusiveness; Innovation is happening all over Scotland; we just do not have enough of it, unlike nations who see innovation as a driving force; Companies will innovate only if they can see an profit in it; The top ten innovative countries use the power of public procurement and demand to drive innovation; A common purpose brings and creates partnerships; To encourage innovation there should be openness, engagement and the freedom to seek expertise. Agenda item 5 - Creating a vision Members explored and agreed that the way forward was the creation of three sub groups to focus specifically on the categories highlighted during the discussion. Agenda item 6 Next steps Members agreed that we should create three subgroups to develop the themes highlighted in the meeting further: Establish a clear ambition to be the best innovative country in the world Improve connections; and Establish a culture of collaboration involve everyone, raise awareness and embed innovation. Forum secretariat will work with partner and delivery organisations to establish the subgroups. Secretariat will inform members of the date for the next meeting as soon as possible. Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum Secretariat May

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