David Golding, Head of North America and Global Networks at Innovate UK
When you think about TAFTIE chairmanship Innovate UK 2022, what do you personally consider as the most important topic you want to move forward during your Chairmanship?
First of all I would hope that we can all meet physically! Things are changing very quickly at the moment and therefore it is difficult to say what will be important in 12 months time. Areas such as scaling businesses, global collaboration and equality, diversity and inclusion are certainly areas of interest. For me the most important thing is that we have a programme that delivers value to the members of Taftie and is responsive to the challenges and opportunities organisations are facing. We are therefore planning a Chairmanship which has flexibility and is able to respond to the issues of interest at that time.
In this dynamic and uncertain period, what should be the main ambition and challenge for TAFTIE in the next 3 years?
It is a very dynamic and uncertain period, but that is when innovation comes into its own and is most needed. At the same time however budgets will most likely be under pressure for many organisations and so demonstrating the value of R&D and innovation is vital. The Covid pandemic has highlighted the value that Taftie can provide to its members. The ability to quickly share information with trusted partners, to understand how different agencies are responding, how to interpret the temporary State aid rules, the list goes on. The ambition over the next 3 years should be to maximise the value that members get from being part of Taftie and to perhaps better make the case collectively as to why R&D and innovation is important for economic growth and societal benefit.
We have been used to meet and discuss formally and informally, various aspects on multilateral basis, now these personal contacts disappeared and we remained connected only via SW and online solutions. What should we do to keep our members more involved during the meetings under the circumstances we are living in?
Taftie meetings are always a great opportunity to catch-up with people and to find out what is going on in different countries and organisations often over lunch or dinner or in coffee breaks. It is really hard to recreate that but building some time in for the informal discussions as part of the formal meetings would be great.
What you can see as the most important aspect of Innovate UK membership in the TAFTIE network?
At the heart of Taftie is the sharing of best practice amongst its members. Having a network of similar organisations and people thinking about the same issues and how to tackle them or how to develop new programmes is a unique and fantastic resource. The most important aspect of Innovate UK’s membership of Taftie is the ability to tap into that resource and to learn, share, explore and discover and as a result provide better and more effective support to the businesses and other organisations we are working with.