Worcestershire Innovation (WINN) launches innovation platform

WINN Innovation event

Worcestershire Innovation (WINN) a unique initiative that helps bring the ideas of Worcestershire-based entrepreneurs and businesses to life and commercialise them, is launching an innovation platform and has selected Idea Spotlight, an idea management platform by Wazoku, to power it.

WINN’s innovation platform is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

WINN and Wazoku, a London-based software company, are collaborating to support crowd innovation, introduce smaller firms to larger companies and encourage working together.

Events and roundtables are usually held by WINN but due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, they have been postponed. This innovation platform will provide a way to continue idea sharing and discover new opportunities.

Businesses can sign-up to the platform, develop a business profile, find supportive content, begin conversations and respond to challenges.

Jessica Antley, Senior Project Manager, Innovation, Worcestershire County Council said: “Our innovation platform is something that has been in the pipeline for a while, but the uncertainty brought about by Covid-19 has only increased the need for businesses in the region to come together to solve problems.”

“We already do a lot of work to encourage collaboration around innovation but needed a digital platform to allow our users to discuss and develop ideas together and to facilitate introductions and Wazoku has extensive experience on such innovation projects so Idea Spotlight was the ideal solution.”

WINN started a successful pilot scheme in the fourth quarter of 2019, which placed user requirements at the centre of its operations. Iterations were made based on this feedback, including the ability for users to now ask direct questions.  Now fully launched, the aim is to get as many individuals and businesses signed up and engaging on the innovation platform as possible.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure said: “Sustainable economic growth and business growth have long been a key priority for Worcestershire County Council and part of that commitment includes the WINN initiative.  This is a unique platform that we believe will be central to the future success and development of the county.”

Idea Spotlight is used by businesses and public sector organisations all over the world, including in the UK the Ministry of Defence, National Health Service, Department for Education and Hackney Borough Council.

It’s used to capture, evaluate, improve and implement ideas from across an eco-system and uses AI to ensure that all ideas are logged and stored until such a time that they become relevant in the future.

“The public sector in the UK has been progressive in its use of digital platforms to encourage innovation and Worcestershire County Council is a great example of that,” said Simon Hill, CEO and founder, Wazoku. “It’s highly focused on innovation to affect change within the county and the new platform is a powerful way to encourage collaboration amongst local businesses and really push that innovation forwards.”

Any businesses in Worcestershire that would like to join the innovation platform can register by visiting the dedicated pages of the WINN website.