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What is innovation and how to innovate

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In an age where technology is developing at a rate of knots, businesses are under pressure to think outside the box and be ahead of the game in order to remain competitive.

This is where innovation comes in.

Innovation is about being creative. Whether it’s having a product idea, developing that idea and taking it to market, improving processes within your business to increase productivity and efficiency, or creating a disruptive business model that will affect change in your industry.

Innovation is happening everywhere and is changing the world we live in, from the way we communicate, how we use data, to how and what we eat.  Food is being 3D printed, drones are delivering our parcels and robots are packing our online shopping.

Revolutions such as Industry 4.0 are also opening doors to a digital world, from automation to the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the advancement of artificial intelligence.

And with climate change hitting the headlines, as well as our hearts and minds, the race is on to find innovative ways to replace plastics and reduce carbon emissions across the globe.

Ideas don’t miraculously come to fruition without some hard graft. Whether it’s big or small, any notion that will affect change or improve productivity is valuable. Even improving an existing product or service is innovative.

So how do I innovate?

Consumers and your customers are at the heart of innovation. Before you innovate, evaluate the needs of your customers. What do they like? What don’t they like?

What are your competitors doing? Being aware of what’s going on around you will enable you to keep up or even overtake the competition.

Collaboration is also key. If you have an idea but lack the expertise to develop it, partner with another business or tap into the research capabilities of a University. Institutions across the country, including the University of Huddersfield, offer part-funded collaboration projects called Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) that enable businesses to benefit from short to long-term expertise embedded within the business to support product development.

University expertise can also support service delivery innovation within your businesses or help to develop a disruptive business model.

At the 3M BIC, we have technology that allows businesses to innovate. From 3D printing in plastics and metals to x-ray CT technology to enable you to test products before taking them to market. Our team can help businesses take an idea from concept, to design right through to creating a prototype.

If you’re looking to innovate, contact a member of our team today on 01484 505601 or e-mail

Don’t get left behind. Innovate now and prepare your business for the future.

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