THOUGHTS ON AN INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION STRATEGY FOR SKÅNE - PDF

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THOUGHTS ON AN INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION STRATEGY FOR SKÅNE HAT S NNO AT ON? An idea is an innovation, someone says. Innovation is turning knowledge into money, says someone else. Innovation is an attitude,

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THOUGHTS ON AN INTERNATIONAL INNOVATION STRATEGY FOR SKÅNE HAT S NNO AT ON? An idea is an innovation, someone says. Innovation is turning knowledge into money, says someone else. Innovation is an attitude, says a third. TEXT: LENNART SVENSSON Contents Innovation Skåne PIA KINHULT AND PER ERIKSSON Pia Kinhult and Per Eriksson discuss why Skåne needs an innovation strategy. pages 4 7 THE SIX INNOVATION STRATEGIES One spread per innovation strategy. pages 8 19 Defining what innovation means is important. Without a definition, the innovation strategy is toothless, insignificant and even misleading. So let s get something straight here: An idea is not an innovation and that s that. Innovation can be new services, products, ways of working, things that improve society and lots more besides. But an innovation always has to create new value and produce growth. In most cases this means that the last part of an innovation process is commercialisation. Our shared definition is: innovation is the entrepreneurial process that gives a new idea a value. The end. But something has changed. The journey from an idea to a value that produces growth rarely starts and ends in the head of one person, in one place or in one country. An increasingly complex world, facing global challenges, almost always demands that knowledge is shared and combined. Skåne is too small, so is Öresund. And the Baltic isn t big enough either. Sometimes even Europe is too small. It s the new knowledge that matters, not where it comes from. Political levels regional, national, European have to switch from steering to supporting. We must and we will turn Skåne into an international, knowledge-driven innovation environment. A place that gets talked about. But to access knowledge, we have to have something to contribute. We need to be seen as open, interesting, trustworthy and maybe even fun. We can t initiate contact with the world around us by putting ourselves in the centre. We need to put the challenge in the centre, e.g. Personal Health or Smart Sustainable Cities and Regions. Do this and goals are created A fossil-free Region Skåne by 2020 which in turn encourage innovation. Innovation-led procurement becomes a driving force. But we can t force the knowledge to come to us. We have to attract it. So let s make Skåne the most attractive dance floor for innovation in Europe. And let s have fun while we re at it. Innovation Skåne thoughts on an international innovation strategy for Skåne Published by: Skåne Research and Innovation Council (FIRS) and Soundingboard Innovation i Skåne Project manager/editor: Joen Garsén, Region Skåne and Niklas Ekdahl, Dockside Reklambyrå Project manager: Maria Lindblom, Region Skåne Process manager: Magnus Jörgel, Region Skåne Layout: Antti Vuorenniemi, Dockside Reklambyrå Text: Henrik Jansson, Dockside Reklambyrå and Joen Garsén, Region Skåne (pp. 4 7) Photos & illustrations: Lars Owesson (p. 2), Sven Persson/swelo.se (pp. 4 7), photo and organisation (p. 7/Ask four), picture of Apokalyps (p. 10), pictures of Minc (p ), pictures of Hövding (p. 15), Jens Sörvik (p. 16), Scanpix (p. 17), Pontus Tideman (p. 22), istock (where not otherwise stated). Printed by: Tryckfolket/October 2011 Circulation: 500 ISBN: #1 SYSTEMIC LEADERSHIP Development happens through interaction. About Mobile Heights Business Center. #2 A BROADER VIEW OF INNOVATION Towards new ways of working. Say hello to Apokalyps Labotek. #3 A MORE EFFICIENT SUPPORT STRUCTURE Several paths to one goal. Meet Bodil Rosvall Jönsson. THE OUTSIDE WORLD Health, environment and growth three crucial factors for the world and for Skåne pages NEW INNOVATION ARENAS Meet two visionaries who have put their hats in the ring. pages #4 NEW AREAS AND ENVIRONMENTS Two examples of something very special. #5 INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION The world is becoming decentralised and globalised. Jens Sörvik explains. #6 BOOST INNOVATION Shooting an air rifle in the dark and hitting the target. S T R A I G H T TO THE POINT T R A I G H T TO THE POINT S It is only once we dare to fail that we are able to succeed. Holding a cup of coffee and a draft of Skåne s innovation strategy covered in notes, Per Eriksson, Vice- Chancellor of Lund University, sits himself down on the sofa. He s in a good mood but gives the two cameras a long, hard stare. Are you really going to film this? Hmm, I m not quite prepared for this, he says, breaking into a smile that could mean OK or not on your life. Is there going to be filming? asks Pia Kinhult, chair of the Regional Assembly and thus Skåne s highest politician. She comes in five minutes after Per and it is immediately obvious that they know each other well and in the main share a similar outlook on innovation. Pia sits on the sofa opposite, folds up her glasses and brushes a stray hair from her jacket. So let s go, she says. Shoot! Straight to the point: Why does Skåne need an innovation strategy? We re going to be the best in Europe at a way of working that finds, develops and commercialises innovations. This means we have to have a strategy and an action plan that points the way. The strategy talks a lot about open innovation arenas. What are they and do we need them? These are arenas where people with different backgrounds and experiences can come together. I don t think we can ever have too many of them. Diversity is incredibly important everyone has to feel that they can find an arena where they fit, feel secure and can build trust. with Pia and Per Is collaboration the be all and end all? Absolutely. But I prefer to call it interplay; every actor works to be the best in their field, while building optimum interaction between the different actors and so making our team leading in Europe, says Per. I think we are slowly but surely building up this interplay, he continues. The forming of FIRS, the Skåne Research and Innovation Council, is a clear example of this. It was FIRS, for example, that took the initiative and coordination responsibility for turning AstraZeneca s decision to shut down its facilities in Lund into a major investment in Ideon Medicon Village. How is Skåne to tackle increased internationalisation? However strong you may build a region, you have to assume that most things will be happening somewhere else. Skåne must therefore increase its links with the world and both import and export knowledge and ideas across borders. We also need to attract more foreigners here, who will enrich Skåne with new thoughts, ideas and influences. We re going to be the best in Europe. It is obviously a problem that intolerance is increasing at the same time as we are dependent on people and ideas from outside. If we get more people encompassed by the innovation concept, we will get more people involved in the work, says Per. How does this fit in with increasing intolerance in Skåne for people from different backgrounds? Since 2010 there have been representatives of xenophobic parties with seats in all 33 of Skåne s municipalities. It is obviously a major problem that intolerance is increasing in Skåne at the same time as we are dependent on people and ideas from outside. I m convinced that we have more to gain from embracing different cultures than the reverse, says Pia. These are forces that can threaten the development of the whole of Sweden, continues Per. In the prevailing global competitive situation, isolating ourselves won t get us anywhere. We are far too small a country for that. The world is global and we need this immigration. It s this way that we boost our competitiveness for the future. How do we translate this strategy from words into action? The main thing is that we have to do our homework. Region Skåne has a major responsibility for driving the pace of innovation in health care and public transport, for example. Another important step is creating more arenas where people with different backgrounds and experience can meet each other, test their ideas and experiment. We must also be better at closing those arenas which aren t actually working, along the lines of: It was a really good idea. We tried it out and it didn t work. Now we re shutting that down and putting our resources into something else. Here we're not exactly top of the class. How do we get more people involved in working towards innovation? Innovation is so much more than just new products and services. An innovation could, for example, also be new processes, ways of working, or things that improve society. If we get more people encompassed by the innovation concept, we will get more people involved in the work, says Per. Another aspect is letting the concept of innovation cover more than research and academia. About 75 percent of all new products and services come about somewhere else, in industry, in the social sector or through developing services. PER ERIKSSON We have to be better at recognising the spread and seizing on all the things that move within and between these sectors. We have to be better at finding ways of commercialising this and so creating growth and social improvements, says Pia. A third way of getting more people involved is to change Swedish corporate culture. We have to work in a much more structured way with constant improvements, daring to try and fail. PIA KINHULT See more of the interview on the web: innovationsbloggen.blogspot.com It is only once we dare to fail that we are able to succeed. If we can change these three things, we will be a giant step nearer to the vision of Europe s most innovative region 2020.? Ask four W H Y S KÅNE NEEDS AN I N N OVATION STRATEGY An innovation strategy for Skåne would place the innovation environments in a clear context where activities and investments can work in synergy with others. Carlotte Lorentz-Hjorth, CEO Krinova Science Park To become Europe s most innovative region, the vision must be translated from idea into action. This is ultimately what strategies are all about. Firmly setting out the targets. Fredrika Gullfot, CEO Simris Alg Bearing in mind the way things look at the moment with a large number of players who are more or less publicly funded, it is necessary to have a clear co-ordinated approach for the future. The risk is otherwise an unclear and confusing picture for those of us looking to stimulate and support companies and innovators. Torbjörn Lindh, CEO Göinge Näringsliv With a clear strategy we will be able to exploit what we already have in a more purposeful and structured way, so getting more bang for our buck. Claes Malmberg, Director, Helsingborg Business Region Develop systemic leadership SYSTEM Development happens through interaction. To strengthen innovation in Skåne and become trailblazers, systemic leadership needs to be planted and developed. An important element in this is creating greater understanding for a systemic perspective and formulating common goals. What? Systemic leadership builds on the IC: idea that a person who acts in a system is involved in and shapes its pattern. There is a shared picture of what is to be achieved, even if all those involved have their own individual goals. Marianne Larsson is project manager for the pilot project Mobile Heights Business Center (MHBC) at Teknopol. She is also something of a performer. She spends much of our conversation standing up, sketching on the whiteboard, quickly but clearly. 11 For me an innovation system has three parts: research & development, business development and growth. This is a system that demands that there is something at the end, something that generate income and grows. This is the way we have worked for 25 years with excellent advice, helpful incubators and fantastic programmes, but it hasn t really produced corresponding growth. These communities work on a short best before date. Innovators have better things to spend their time on than scrambling the money together. M A N Y C O O K S I M P R OV E T H E B R O T H At Teknopol we have also noticed that the majority of the capital collected is spent on technical development when really there ought to be a sales heading in the picture. A fact which has resulted in a high focus on technology but a slow rate of development. Often people try to turn innovators INTO entrepreneurs. If they want to go out on the market and see whether anyone is interested in their solution, they have to do it themselves. We identify innovative people who are business minded and focus on building a team around them. For two years MHBC has been focusing on putting together a good team and getting everybody face to face early on in the process, including the investors. To reach out far enough, fast enough you need capital that can provide the team with what they need on top of any income. We invite all the investors in at the same time, those who are involved at an early stage and those who usually come in later on. That puts things on a much firmer footing for establishing trust and building relationships in both directions. The demands are high. Everyone taken on must have the potential to turn over in excess or SEK 100 million and be profitable within two years. Nevertheless, the results look good. Of 26 members (several of whom didn t exist a few months ago) eight have market income and four are actually profitable. Read more at teknopol.se and mhbc.se I get the feeling that if we told everyone What? involved that they were part of systemic leadership, they would stare at us blankly. Most of them would, it's true! But it s enough if a few of them are aware of the concept and can be the ones who see the bigger picture. It's about putting the right people together. After all, everyone has their own agenda in what they take on and that s OK as long as you open about that. That s what systemic leadership is. It s the culture, the principle that s important. For example, we've created a project that is about working together with other clusters to solve the diabetes question. The goals are incredibly high, like putting someone on the moon, but in this context it s the end that is the means. If you put together people who have a shared interest in the vision, the work is suddenly led by many people at the same time. The idea isn t what matters, it s being able to make something out of it. #1 SYSTEMIC LEADERSHIP #2 A BROADER VIEW OF INNOVATION #3 A MORE EFFICIENT SUPPORT STRUCTURE #4 NEW AREAS AND ENVIRONMENTS #5 INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION #6 BOOST INNOVATION D E A D LY S ERIOUS A conversation about backwards S ERIOUS mentoring and fabulous meetings. LY D A E D Read more at apocalypselab.net APOKALYPS LABOTEK A broader view of innovation. To the uninitiated it might sound like asking where space ends... Where do you start? One suggestion is to broaden the view by looking forwards, literally. Let the effects take their time in other words. Abstract things can be extremely innovative. This is the view of Jenny Nordberg and Petra Lilja at Apokalyps Labotek. How do you mean? An engine that is more efficient is generally thought to be innovative. Compare that with the process for a pair of trousers: They are made of cotton from Turkey, which is dyed in India and sewn in China. If you sew them in Sweden instead, from linen grown sustainably in Sweden, you get the same product but a new production chain. That is not thought of as innovative, despite a greater environmental saving than in the combustion engine example. The point is that something that generates a behaviour is part of a cycle and in the long run, for example, reduces carbon dioxide emissions, is seen as something different, the way we look at things today. One starts, the other fills in the gaps. This is the short version of a long answer. Jenny (or it might be Petra ) points to a 30-litre aquarium. The water is thick and muddy with algae. Part of a project that is still a bit too secret for public consumption. But they still draw parallels with the engine example. We usually talk about hi-tech and low-tech. It can be hi-tech in thinking but low-tech in execution. Or the other way round! Innovation is happening in lots of places in society. But the concept feels incredibly linked to technology and academia. Look at Vinnova, to apply with them you ideally have to be linked to a university and run a limited company! I mean, really Innovativeness isn t measured by whether or not you re a company. The concept needs to be broader, but what then? What do you do? Travel round giving presentations to managing directors? We ve definitely got lots of proposals and ideas but to sum it up in a couple of actual examples: Have an experiment fund! Earmark some money for outreach. One doesn t have to exclude the other. Traditional and new arenas, give them time and they will come together. If you pipe water from two directions, don t they find each other s route somehow? That kind of thing. It s quite simple. These platforms and arenas are made up of people after all. But who sometimes happen to be on different levels. This is where backwards mentoring comes in. Instead of older people with experience coaching the younger ones, the newcomers update the experienced ones. Both generations possess expertise and knowledge which the other doesn t always have. Bring them together! These platforms It s easy to think of them as a meeting in a room. The meeting places don t have to be physical. The main thing is that there is an opportunity to bring together unexpected areas of expertise. It is there in the intersections that really exciting things happen! We used to run a nightclub and crossfertilised cocktails with handicrafts. Honestly. Several groups met there with completely different backgrounds but still with a common interest. The meetings were fabulous! Hampus from TAT is also in this magazine and he compares the role of the region with that of a party planner. Now you re thinking along the same lines. Interesting. Yes, but what is it they say? Great minds think alike. We ve talked about academia and industry but how do you see what you yourselves do? We usually say that we're somewhere between design, research and industry. If the groups work together, that s when fantastic things can happen! So in which direction should a venture capitalist be looking? Where are the new investments? Everything that involves thinking in a broader perspective. I mean, if you have to choose between money and money that brings something good with it, what do you choose? #2 #2 A broader view of innovation Strong innovation demands an inclusive approach, nationally and internationally. This is the only way to involve more people and exploit new dynamism. #1 SYSTEMIC LEADERSHIP #2 A BROADER VIEW OF INNOVATION #3 A MORE EFFICIENT SUPPORT STRUCTURE #4 NEW AREAS AND ENVIRONMENTS #5 INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION #6 BOOST INNOVATION 3 A more efficient support structure for innovation There must be several paths to the same goal. This means that Skåne should strive to be open to new ideas. That might mean replacing old ways of working, developing financing, management and follow-up work and actually daring to question what we are doing. O P E N YO U R DOOR As a rule, it s better to have than not to have. And that goes for strategies too. DOOR R U YO N E P O A letterbox is also a way in. Minc has 85 of them. At least. Read more at minc.se Bodil Rosvall Jönsson s philosophy is simple but apposite: choose the right path. In 2006 she took over as managing director of Minc. The plan was to get a bit more rock n roll into the building, a sense of This Is Where It s At. We wanted people queuing round the block. Today Minc has 30 start-ups and is one of Europe s most successful incubators. The survival rate is an impressive 90%. Success has also led to the provision of workspace for an additional 55 businesses and a generally bubbling meeting place. Our job is to be a nursery and to develop entrepreneurial talent. For two years the people taken on attend
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