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Mission possible: the quest to find the UK’s most innovative companies

David Wong

20 December 2012

The Big Innovation Centre believes it is important to celebrate the most innovative companies in our country in order to raise the profile of innovation in the mainstream media and to the public, and to create awareness of what it takes to succeed. To this end, we will work with The Guardian in the New Year to launch The Innovator’s Column, showcasing and profiling a line-up of the UK’s good innovators’. This will culminate with awards for the three most innovative companies.

The column will answer three broad questions that we think will be of interest to the general public:

What are good innovators doing, so that people can learn from them and be inspired?
While there is much public discourse on the subject of innovation, and we even have a government department with that remit, there is currently little effort to publicly – and dare we say unashamedly – celebrate innovative companies. It should not be a surprise that we trail the US, Korea, Japan and a host of other developed economies in fostering the nation’s aspiration to innovate.

What does a good innovator look like?
The column will achieve little if it serves only to put the three most innovative companies on a public pedestal. To inspire and unlock the innovative potential of UK businesses and the wider economy, it is important that we learn from all good innovators - their critical success factors, key pitfalls to avoid, and what made them what they are today.

How do we measure good innovators?
We will introduce our unique Innovators Scorecard, comprising a comprehensive array of factors that we believe characterise good innovators, as a lens through which we filter the good from the also-rans. Each of the most credible lists currently available, such as Forbes.com, Fast Company and MIT Technology Review, has its own methodology for determining their rankings.

In the New Year, we will provide more details about the column and explain how the general public can get involved in determining which are the UK’s most innovative companies.

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