This post is by Will McDowall, associate professor in eco-innovation at UCL’s Energy Institute and Institute for Sustainable Resources.
Climate change is the single biggest transformative challenge of our time, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the government’s Innovation Strategy, published in July. Despite its repeated name checking of ‘net zero’, the strategy is a missed opportunity for zero carbon innovation.
This post is by Jenny Bird, Dr Florian Kern, Dr Paula Kivimaa and Dr Karoline Rogge from the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand.
Prior to the era of Donald Trump, tweeting was an unusual way to make a government announcement. But a tweet from the UK team at the 2014 UN climate summit in New York declared David Cameron’s intention to “phase out existing coal over the next 10-15 years”. Read more
Under its new industrial strategy, the government has committed £4.7 billion for science and innovation until 2020 and has announced the creation of a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). This will be modelled on the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA. For seasoned innovation thinkers, this is very good news. But what’s so exciting about DARPA? Read more
This post is by independent researcher and Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis.
It’s obvious, when you think about it, that emerging industries and innovators have less of a voice in government than established players. Incumbents have a lot of advantages: they have a proven technology or system which regulators understand; they can afford to pay staff or consultants to engage and lobby; and policies and regulations are designed with them in mind. In contrast, innovators put all their effort into getting their new approach off the ground (with little time left for lobbying); regulations aren’t designed for them; and policy makers may not understand what they do. Read more
This post first appeared on Business Green.
Think of innovation and what comes to mind? Blue skies, blank sheets of paper, keeping your thoughts showering and definitely outside of any boxes? These might be helpful for great leaps forward, but most technological development occurs through a series of small shuffles: a one per cent efficiency gain here, a five per cent weight reduction there. This is the kind of optimisation that delivers a competitive advantage rather than creates a whole new market, and a long term study by McKinsey has shown that focusing on a few key objectives is a vital part of successfully innovating to deliver incremental improvements. Read more
Many of us believe that the development of a vibrant green economy is vital to Britain’s economic as well as environmental future. But how should we best foster the green economy and is there a role for government intervention? Should the state try to actively stimulate green innovation and industrial development? Or should the ‘bumbling bureaucrats’ simply get out of the way and leave it to the dynamic venture capitalists and entrepreneurs? Read more
This post is by Jonathan Gaventa, programme leader on European energy infrastructure at E3G. Jonathan is one of 20 experts Green Alliance interviewed as part of a review of European climate and energy policy which will be published next week.
There is no security in separatism, no innovation in isolationism, and nothing to be gained from walking away from our seat at the European table. Read more
This is a guest post by Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainable Development at Sheffield City Council.
Eight core English cities including my own have now signed City Deals to boost their economies. Work is already underway on putting the deals into practice, but there are many ways we can strengthen and build on what has been achieved so far.
The low carbon emphasis of the deals, for example, would be be much stronger if a number of things were to change: Read more
This post is by Green Alliance director Matthew Spencer and independent energy consultant Paul Arwas, the authors of Green Alliance’s new pamphlet Nurturing UK cleantech enterprise which is published today . It appeared first on BusinessGreen.
We now know that when the British Cycling team swept the medals board at the 2012 Olympics it wasn’t a lucky breakthrough, but the result of 15 years of steady funding and a long process of incremental improvement under the cool eye of its coach Sir David Brailsford.
The British economy has been underperforming for decades because of low levels of business innovation, but in contrast the policy response to this critical challenge has been fickle and changes almost every year. Ministers lurch between throwing money at breakthroughs like graphene and abandoning programmes that were set up by their predecessors.