Collaborate to innovate – Lessons from the Innovation100

Collaborate to innovate – Lessons from the Innovation100

Any business or organisation can innovate as long as it follows a few simple principles.

Think more broadly
Innovation occurs across many facets of a business. Typically we think of products stemming from R&D and advances in technology, but, equally, innovation occurs in new services, processes and alternative business models, all of which can challenge established norms. Innovation100 Greater Manchester spotlights a wonderfully broad range of new and interesting approaches to business and technology, but for many busy enterprises uncovering and maximising the potential of new opportunities poses a major challenge. Meeting this challenge head on is, however, essential for competitive advantage, growth and future success.

Talk to your staff, supplier and customer
There will be many opportunities thrown up by looking out to the market for your products or services, but how many chances to innovate are overlooked? One of the messages from Innovation100 GM is the importance of encouraging the contribution of employees and suppliers, and tapping into a rich source of ideas that would never be captured otherwise. Suppliers, customers and staff are close to the action, so are well-placed to identify where changes to products and services could provide real competitive advantage. The solution might seem obvious to them, but, if their thoughts remain hidden, business-changing opportunities may be lost forever. Fostering an innovative culture is therefore essential in creating the conditions to enable better outcomes, lower cost manufacturing, better services or customer experience, and, of course, an improved bottom line.

Grow your network
Innovation100 GM companies are also utilising the wealth of research organisations and specialists with expertise and facilities in the UK to expand networks and contacts. We’re not just talking about universities here, but also Innovate UK support Catapult centres with specialisms around medicine discovery and High Value Manufacturing too, for example. There are also organisations such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), with practical knowhow to harvest. It is well worth exploring what these have to offer. Business Growth Hub’s innovation team can help put you in touch with organisations like these that you may not be aware of.

Collaborate to innovate
Collaboration provides the opportunity to find and harness the knowledge that’s out there, avoid re-inventing the wheel and be quicker to market. It can help unlock the innovation potential of your business and provide opportunities to find the answers you need to achieve your ambitions and achieve growth. So why not collaborate to innovate?

The Business Growth Hub Innovation Service provides advice and support to help you innovate and grow - if you are interested in finding out more, contact us at or call us on 0161 345 3050.

Chris Greenhalgh, Head of Innovation and Programme Development.