Besides PM Cameron, David Willetts (BIS Minister for Science and Innovation), Sir Richard Branson, Ron Dennis (McLaren) and Thomas Heatherwick (designer of the new London bus) were some of the speakers that shined at today’s G8 Innovation Conference. Main topics discussed: entrepreneurship and innovation, online education, creativity, science and technology. The conference focused especially on how innovation can be encouraged and where the next life-changing opportunities are for business innovation.
Even though there were many more inspiring talks at this international conference, lets focus on some of the key points that PM David Cameron tried to get across today.
1. Innovation is essential to achieve growth and SMEs are THE vehicle, more than bigger traditional companies, to drive this.
2. We need to make Britain one of the easiest places to start, grow and run your business. At present, starting a new venture here is cheaper than in Silicon Valley.
3. We need to recognise that Government has a significant role to play in today’s landscape. Government wants small businesses to account for at least 25% of public procurement and has cut down on the paperwork and created a quick online application channel allowing SMEs to do so.
4. Data is key. Open data allows transparency, accountability and is therefore important for democracy. The data that the Government has is one of the most valuable assets it has to help the economy to grow. Making open data available is hugely valuable and the importance and relevance for businesses should be promoted across Britain.
5. We need to bring people together to allow entrepreneurship and innovation. Tech City, which grew from 200 tech SMEs in 2010 to 1,500 in 2013, is a key example of a hub that drives the British technological footprint.
6. Education needs to embrace innovation. Curriculums should reflect what the industry needs. The ICT curriculum is a prime example of a ‘transformed’ curriculum and maintaining the science budget rather than cutting it has been a supportive decision.
7. The public should be challenged more to come up with innovative solutions such as cures for Dementia or a carbon free flight from London to New York. Government will stimulate the public more to engage in Government funded competitions.
He ended his talk with the following: “WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT GOVERNMENT DATA IS AVAILABLE”. We from Connected Liverpool sincerely hope it will be.