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Website helps small firms capitalise on innovation

The British Computer Society has launched an online resource devoted to supporting innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The site aims to provide valuable information to help UK SMEs meet the challenges of competing in the global market.

The importance of innovation to UK competitiveness has been highlighted in an article on the BCS website by software engineer Geoff Winn.

One of the UK's major historic failings, according to Winn, has been its inability to capitalise on its inventions and innovations.

Liquid crystal displays were pioneered at the Royal Radar Establishment at Malvern, yet the UK has never had an LCD industry. Occam and the transputer failed to take off. And the collapse of GEC Marconi and the British motorcycle industry can both be partially attributed to their failure to match inventive competitors, he said.

Learning from these examples, Winn said the IT industry, in particular, needs to improve the way it capitalises on innovation.

If the UK IT industry is to stay competitive, issues such as improved productivity, improved quality and, most of all, innovation, will be key - and these are primarily management issues, he said.

Managing innovation is not easy though. Even when worthwhile ideas are uncovered, because resources are always limited, there remains the dilemma of which ideas to pursue and which to leave.

BCS website for SMEs >>

Geoff Winn's article on innovation >>

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk


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