Knowledge is a component in industry which drives innovation, adds value and intensifies further curiosity into untapped territories. Innovation is needed to enhance competitiveness in the UK’s somewhat flagging industries which have been sleepwalking into oblivion. For too long, the UK has been protecting old processes, satisfied with their products and falling behind. It is not a hidden concept that we work the most hours in Europe, not because we refuse to sign up to EU working directives, but because processes are inefficient, cumbersome and largely inadequate. Innovation seeks to not only streamline old processes but create new paradigms leading to efficiency which will hopefully augment the UK’s competitive standing. Further, the technological era has enabled and facilitated the involvement of many variables not previously used on such a grand scale that it seems a shame not to use this as a platform for innovation.
The UK government is by and large focused on creating growth and stability with the inauguration of the post of Secretary of State for Business and Innovation, currently held by the Rt.Hon. Vince Cable MP (July 2014 at the time of writing), however, one derives the impression that budget cuts have hampered the progress of the launch of the much needed creative thinking required to drive their directives to a greater plain. The UK government currently supports the Research Councils UK, a body involved unearthing intellectual potential and by doing so, together with established philanthropists, donate funding to these aspiring laureates to amass new ideas to drive industry forward. However, a larger and more established hub needs to be created if the UK is to take advantage of the intellectual minefield currently involved in alternative pursuits. Industries and business leaders need to be able to access innovation to expand intelligence, encourage greater innovation and exercise integrity. These must be encouraged throughout an organisation with the full participation of learners and educators alike to achieve the optimum potential for both human and structural capital. A working ‘knowledge’ hub would be a body involved in gathering financial backing, establishing and leading projects and programmes, identifying crucial issues of the day and areas where innovation can be influenced by technology, establishing partnerships with leading think-tank centres around the world completed by conference forums where innovations and ideas can be conveyed to the world at large.
Thus, knowledge is the tool with which the UK is able to use to push towards greater prosperity and it is important that this process is support by those with acumen in the absence of budgetary constraints. In an era of globalisation, competitive advantages can be gained with the advancement opportunities which surround us, however, if the UK does not seek to improve her position, we may be treading water whilst our competitors scour the oceans with self-assured sovereignty.
Dr. Victor Chukwuemeka
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