The easiest way to get an idea considered is to submit it to the Ideas Space – the online idea management portal.
Click here to submit an idea: Ideas Space
Ideas are first discussed and considered by the Ideas Space community – open to all staff. If an idea gains positive support of +30 votes and/or gains the sponsorship of a Head of Department or Director, then the idea will be taken forward for consideration by an Innovation Support project manager. The project manager will contact the idea originator to discuss the next steps.
Warwick Ventures is one of the groups that use the Ideas Space to capture new opportunities. Their particular area of interest is research based opportunities and spin-outs, but they often get involved in other commercial ventures. If an idea can be helped by the Warwick Ventures team they will pick it up.
The SCD team is one of the groups that use the Ideas Space to capture new opportunities. Their particular area of interest is improving current processes and ways of working, but they often get involved in other improvement projects. If an idea is best helped by the SCD team it will be directed to them for consideration.
At the moment the Ideas Space is open to all staff and all ideas are welcome. Some of the follow-on processes are tailored to specific groups or types of ideas, but this will be explained if an ideas get taken forward for development.
Currently students do not have access to the Ideas Space but this is under consideration.
Idea development can take anything from a few days to many months. If an idea generates sufficient support and/or sponsorship a project manager will help assess and scope the work that might be involved to bring the idea in to reality – at that stage an indication of time to implement can be given.
There is no charge for using the service. Sometimes market research or prototypes may need to be funded, this will be discussed as the idea is developed. Innovation Support Project Managers may be able to help find sources of funding for market research or development.
If an idea is taken forward an Innovation Support project manager will be appointed. The project manager will organise resources, set up meetings, bring together relevant parties. As appropriate they will organise workshops to develop ideas and options, select the best options, carry out testing etc. They will work with the idea originators throughout the process and bring in experts and help as necessary.
All ideas are a source of learning – even if they are not ultimately implemented. All ideas are assessed and tested and the idea originators and the project team can gain valuable learning for future projects. No idea is wasted – all ideas are opportunities to learn and develop.
At the start of a project idea originators will be asked how much involvement they would like to take in idea development. Many originators want to be involved all the way through to implementation – some are content to pass on their idea for others to assess and implement. Either way, idea originators can have as little or as much involvement as they wish. Originators do not have to possess any particular skills or resources – their idea and enthusiasm is enough.
Obviously, those originators who choose to pass on their idea need to accept that ‘others’ will then decide on whether, or how, it is implemented. Even if originator chooses not to be involved, they will always be informed of the final outcome of their suggestion.
There is no mandate or requirement to use the service, it is entirely voluntary.
The University is a large complex organisation, and not every idea originator has the time, access or skills necessary to take a raw idea and progress it through the various stakeholder groups. The Innovation Support service can help with that process.
The Innovation Support service does not guarantee every idea will be implemented – in fact, the majority will not make it through to final implementation.
Most ideas make complete sense when considered in isolation, but often cannot take account of the complexities and practicalities of the full environment. Many ideas cannot overcome the challenges of real-world practicalities.
The Innovation Support service cannot guarantee every idea is accepted or implemented – however it can guarantee that ideas that generate sufficient positive support are fully considered and tested against realities. It will also attempt to develop ideas to overcome any obstacles identified. It cannot guarantee implementation, but it can guarantee full consideration.