When we think and talk about building a culture of innovation, one of the key messages is that invention and innovation are not just two interchangeable words for the same thing. So whilst invention builds on existing knowledge or creates new knowledge pathways to make something new or different, innovation seeks to create lasting synergies and solutions. In fact a true culture of innovation looks to create a profound change in attitudes and approaches throughout an organisation.
That’s not to say that invention and innovation are not entwined in the development of products and services and both can learn from each other in terms of approach and attitude. For example, the British Science Festival which is on in Bradford from 7 to 10 September 2015 is designed to further the aim of the British Science Association to create “a society where science is a part of, not set apart from, society and culture.” To achieve this the Association is looking to support, grow and diversify the community of people who are interested and involved in science, to help people to engage with science and to become ambassadors for science with the ultimate aim of empowering people to “challenge and influence British science.”
Supporting, engaging, empowering, growing and diversifying may be designed to take science and invention out into the wider audience but they are also key traits of a strong culture of innovation.