Tag Archives: innovation

Big issues for #SmartSpecialisation

Listening to the talks today at the Smart Specialisation conference – especially the excellent keynote by @RichardALJones – here are some big issues.

What do we do about London?

And that’s just “Inner London West”!

  • London accounts for about 23% of UK GDP, add in 15% ish for the rest of the South East – and we’re looking at 38% of UK GDP
  • Everything we do that makes anywhere “closer” to London – high speed rail, better connections makes the problem worse – from a regional perspective.

What is a Local Industrial Strategy?

  • There is a dilemma here; are we talking about national policies applied locally, or are we really going to develop policy locally that is supported nationally?
  • Everything to my mind is driven ‘top down’; Industrial Strategy, sector deals etc

I’m sure you all mean well but….

Too many initiatives cutting across each other producing a confused innovation infrastructure with little eco-system thinking. How does it all fit together, what is the logic and how does the private sector fit in?

Errr…….what’s the framework, what business model is being used, how do we know what the plan is? Not clear.

Where was the Private Sector and why no discussion?

“We were going to open up for Q&A but we’re short of time so we’re not going to do that – we’ll move on” #smartspecialisation

— Brian_Condon (@brian_condon) November 29, 2018

Startedin – Edinburgh comes to the City of London

The event began with Frank Ross – who Convenes Edinburgh City Council’s Economic Development activities.

"Pitching" the Edinburgh
“Pitching” the Edinburgh Offer – Frank Ross

It’s about graduates and about computing, academic excellence, spinouts and innovative startups. There are 15 incubators in Edinburgh – Creative Exchange, Carbon Innocation, Techcube; lots of others.

There is a danger that incubators are operating in isolation – it needs to be joined up – so we’ve established the online portal Interspace – to make it easy to do business in Edinburgh.

It’s about quality of life, quality of jobs and quality of city! He pitches the city and he’s proud of it.

Amazon has been in Edinburgh for over 10 years

“We run major chunks of Amazon from Edinburgh” says Graeme Smith of Amazon

Graeme Smith presents Amazon
Graeme Smith presents Amazon

And here is what they get up to:



Skyscanner – it’s about the quality of life in Edinburgh

Richard Lennox from Skyscanner – this is how he sees it:


He’s from Carlisle. “I’ve always wanted to work in a global scale technology business”.

Why Edinburgh not London?

It’s not tangible – but it is about the quality of life in Edinburgh.

Here are my more detailed notes and liveblog in Storify



C4CC is amazing – what next?

The Centre for Creative Collaboration
will close on 17 December 2014

C4CC will close at noon on 17th December 2014.  For 5 years, we have supported collaborations between Universities, businesses, staff and students and creative freelancers.  In the past two years we have also worked with Small and Medium Enterprises across London as part of the London Creative and Digital Fusion project – supporting more than 200 businesses directly ourselves.  We’ve also helped to form and support 37 start-ups creating over 100 jobs.

We’ve spoken to our resident projects and partners about the closure over the past month or so – and this post will, I hope, let a wider group of friends hear the news directly from us.  To cut a very long story short – our funding has finished, the University of London has decided not to support us further and the lease on our building expires early next year.

I talked to Lloyd Davis recently and we recalled the excitement of getting the keys early in February 2010 – and how big and empty the space seemed.  The project was scary and exciting at the same time.  It’s worth remembering that, when we did the research for the project (in 2008/9) there were very few spaces in London that we would now recognise as co-working or collaboration spaces.  So it was a bit of a leap in the dark – and a testament to the vision of our early supporters, especially Sir Graeme Davies who was
Vice-Chancellor of the University of London at that time.

We will hold an event on 12 December at C4CC to share our experiences, tell stories and celebrate what we’ve all been part of – if you would like an invitation, please let me know.

My plan is to ‘to do my own thing’ again as an independent consultant and adviser; I’m looking at a number of opportunities for 2015.  I’ve learnt a lot of new (and I hope useful!) things in the past 5 years – and I will be happy to help other people and projects to benefit from my experience.  So if you’d like to talk about opportunities to work together, please get in touch.

I am on social media as brian_condon or add a comment to this blog.

Alternative Funding Mechanisms – at the FTTH Council / INCA workshop

Moving back into Plenary to look at funding issues. Here’s the liveblog:

London Creative and Digital Fusion – Inspire [ONE] Event

Not really a ‘launch’ as the partners have been working together for some months now – but an event to mark the delivery of the new website and an opportunity to present London Fusion to a wider group.

Here’s an Audioboo with Cathy Garner – who talks about #LondonFusion and what we’re all going to be doing. Through C4CC, I’m one of the project team working with Cathy on the project.

I’m liveblogging using CoverItLive here: