Hidden Innovation in the Creative Industries

Uploaded on June 26,
2008 by Phil Hawksworth

Yesterday was spent in Manchester at the NESTA launch of their latest report (pdf not live yet) into innovation in the Creative Industries.

From a broad reading of the report, it seems to largely reflect last year’s report that much innovation in industry isn’t recorded in official statistics rather than not taking place. The Creative Industries face a further double whammy since very small and micro companies (under 10 employees) are excluded from the official returns, as are many of the SIC codes that cover the sector. Prof’s Ian Miles and Lawrence Green recognise that the existing surveys are a potential burden that the micro companies could probably do without, except that without the evidence base there won’t be policy and incentives from central Government.

This could be a valuable role for places like the Pervasive Media Studio and Universities? Aggregating and presenting an industry perspective on behalf of the micro business communities?

Most of the findings from the case study interviews could apply across pretty much any sector. Customers are more sophisticated, networked, discriminating and active. Not sure there are many industries where that isn’t the case. One point of note was a comment from the video games industry (one of the 4 sub-sector foci) for novel titles, sophistication and interfaces – wonder how that translates to the explosion in casual & mobile gaming, Kongregate, Gameloft, the Wii etc?

One aspect that might be unique was the reported lack of innovation management. Some of this is undoubtedly down to the speed of change and comparative size of companies, but may also be down to a culture of perpetual beta. Many of the associated issues that have been reported could be related to company size. How many firms under 10 employees have a dedicated R&D budget, or a formal knowledge management system whatever industry they’re in?

How about providing/managing a framework for Open Innovation as a role for HE in the creative sector?

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