Hallelujah!

I have just come from the last plenary session of the 1st IPSIM symposium in Singapore, which examined ways in which we could improve innovation around the World.

It has been a successful event and our plans for the Global Academy were exceptionally well-received within our session and, more importantly, a number of new ideas on how to improve the concept emerged from the discussion.

However, what struck me more than anything else was how far Wales is behind the game in terms of innovation thinking and how we urgently need to up the ante if we are to get anywhere in this new world.

We still have universities thinking that "science push" is the only way to get research into industry.

We still have companies who have no clue about the concepts of open innovation and how it can make them more competitive.

Finally, we have a cabal of policymakers who are ignoring the latest thinking in this critical policy area, closing its ears to calls to establish a strong innovation infrastructure which can change the business fortunes of Wales and, worts of all, adopting a 'safety first mentality which is driving innovators away.

The last session today with Professor Mark Dodgson - one of the academics whose writing on innovation got me into this business in the first place - was truly a Hallelujah moment. Mark eloquently described what was going on at the edge of innovation thinking globally and there was very little that could be found in Wales.

This is one of his recent presentations on the subject, some of which he used in his lecture.

It was truly a Hallelujah moment and there are no longer any excuses for not doing this properly, especially as we have the resources to change our whole approach to innovation.

Even if others won't do this, I am now even more determined to ensure that the Global Academy project will reflect the best of this new thinking for the benefit of Wales and that we should not compromise one iota in ensuring that Wales becomes a haven for innovative thinking.

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