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Open Innovation Set to Shape Future of Welsh Economy


The opportunity for innovation in Wales is clear, particularly as artificial intelligence and automation continues to embed itself in our future. We need to promote, encourage and enable open innovation across the whole economy and bring in ideas from all sectors of our industries. Future large-scale infrastructure projects for example, should be built on the basis of clear strategic priorities, built on Wales’ acknowledged strengths, but also taking in views and experience from all areas of industry.

There is certainly no shortage of ideas coming from the private sector within some of our core industries including manufacturing, energy and food innovation.

The term ‘innovation’ gets thrown around constantly in modern day business; meaning different things to different people. However, in recent years, the term ‘Open Innovation’ has become more apparent; especially in the world of product development.

We have now moved away from a traditional, technology-based definition by recognising that innovation can be achieved everywhere and anywhere and by anyone.

Developed in the early 2000s, the Open Innovation concept highlights the worth of using outside sources of innovation to improve one’s own product or service; a theory that many businesses are now exploring. Utilising the help of people outside your own internal network can boast various benefits; a way to actively incorporate the wider community into your innovation management strategy.

Within today’s business environment, collaboration is an essential ingredient for survival. The products we are developing are constantly increasing in technical complexity, and our customers expect complete end-to-end solutions to be delivered faster than ever before. In order for us to offer a first-class product design service we need to collaborate and share ideas with technical experts, manufacturers, funding bodies, government departments and academic institutes around the globe.

There are many campaigns for Open Innovation projects being carried out across Wales. Welsh Government has made continuous efforts to fly the flag for collaborative working; one being the SMART Innovation programme. The programme is structured around a team of ‘Innovation Specialists’ that help businesses become more innovative and competitive; the programme provides support to Welsh businesses and research organisations.

If you are looking to commercialise an idea, then an Open Innovation strategy may be beneficial. Below are a few benefits to employing such a policy:

  • Bringing skills, expertise and experience together
  • Complementing resources and talent
  • Increasing speed to market
  • Lowering cost and risk
  • Defining objectives, roles and timings effectively
  • Enhancing communication between the team


ITERATE help supports the Welsh Government in the delivery of the SMART Innovation programme. As its part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, we are able to work with Welsh businesses free of charge for up to five days. In the past, we have helped organisations create new product concepts, overcome specific technical challenges and identify alternative materials, markets and suppliers.

Looking to launch a new product?

If you have an idea for a new product or wish to improve an existing one contact us today for an initial discussion