What’s new for 17-18?

If you’ve engaged in Enterprise & Innovation support through us previously, you are probably wondering what’s happened to the Wednesday IdeasLab and Thursday StartupLab sessions.

We found that so many people were bringing new ideas, having just a couple of fixed-time drop-in sessions per week wasn’t giving everyone enough time and space to get the attention they needed

So, this year we’re opening up more slots and letting you call the shots on when they should happen.  We’re still calling them Labs, but there are now lots of different Lab types to choose from.

How does it work?

The idea is simple – we’ll help you put together a personalised development programme and you work through it at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready to work on something new, you book a Lab session and we’ll supply the space, the know-how, the resources, and, where appropriate, bring in like-minded collaborators.

To make this work though, there are a couple of other things that have changed.

  • Firstly, before you start ‘dropping in’, we’ll ask you to register or re-register by completing a short Registration Form so we can get you into the system.
  • Secondly, we’ll book you in for a 1-2-1 chat (called an IntroLab) so we can find out more about you, what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for right now.
  • Thirdly, we’ll get you underway so you can start putting together your bespoke development programme from our new menu of different Lab types. Regardless of what you are working on or where you are up to, there’ll be something for you.

To get started right away, please complete the Registration Form.

To find out more about Labs, please visit this page.

‘Embrace Failure’ – James Dyson

Sir James Dyson discusses prototyping, failure and patents

In a recent interview on Radio 2’s breakfast show, British inventor Sir James Dyson talks about why he sees failure as something exciting which should be embraced. He also answers questions on whether he’s ever invented something in a dream, how many patents they hold and whether he uses his own hairdryers…

It a great, short interview – well worth a listen on the Radio Two website. 

Innovative clothes that grow with your baby…

Example of design focused innovation

Buying new clothes every few months for a growing child can be costly and resource consuming. This is why engineer Ryan Yasin, 24 has come up with new children’s clothing range, ‘Petit Pli.’ Petit Pli clothes are made from an inventive new material inspired by solar panels and satellites. The material grows along with the child – so one garment can be seven sizes in one!

Petit Pli was the result of over 500 prototypes and now Yasin’s efforts have been recognised through becoming the UK winner of the James Dyson Award! But he is not stopping there, him and the team are currently working towards trying to make a garment out of a single material, allowing for it to be recycled more easily!

Read more about Ryan Yasin and his innovative design on the Wired website. 

 

 

Paid Internships with Nesta Innovation Foundation

Recent graduate interested in working for an innovative organisation?

Nesta are an innovation foundation, their mission is to ‘seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.’ They are currently advertising 12 six month internships, within a variety of areas across the organisation including, government innovation, International innovation, Health and Design. All internships at to be paid at London Living Wage.

Maybe you’re a graduate looking to take your next steps? Why not take a look to see if something catches your eye? The full list can be found on the Nesta website.

Applications close at 10am on Tuesday the 29th of August 2017.

 

£50,000 Inventor Prize

Got an idea for a product that could improve people’s lives?

Calling all inventors, entrepreneurs, shed-tinkerers, DIYers or life-hackers – if you have an idea for a product which could help improve people’s lives, the Inventor Prize could be for you!

Nesta are launching the prize in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The prize aims to inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user-led innovation. The prize will support individuals and small organisations to take their innovative products from idea to market.

The deadline for applications is the 22nd of October 2017.  In November, a panel of judges will select 10 finalists to receive £5,000 as well as bespoke mentoring to develop their product. Then the overall winner will be announced in September next year, winning £50,000 to make their dream a reality.

To find out more and enter the competition visit the Inventor Prize website.

Electric cars will be soon charging while driving!

Wired-up roads are the future, mostly due to Tesla Motors, who triggered the interest in electric cars that this generation feels.

Nikola Tesla, a genius will be not only please but also excited as his enthusiasm towards electrical vehicles has triggerred the interest of many. The wireless transmission of power is the future and is now turning into a reality. From a electric cars mat when you were a child to wiring the most popular roads in Britain, electric cars are certainly on the uprise.

These electric cars are in more demand than ever due to their low local emissions, but they are also known for their expensive prices and not having a long enough driving range. So imagine if you could charge them without a plug in cable, or even while moving.

Technology is advancing at a faster rate than ever with electric tooth brushes and smart phones being charged by being placed on top of a pad. Thanks to this technology, some electric cars are able to be charged by parking on top of charging pads, so that advancement of wire-up roads are closer than ever before! Recent studies show these roads with wireless charging coils are not expensive as you think and that the biggest part of the cost is the construction work itself.

Read our official report here.

GUEST BLOG: How to price your art

Inés Gregori Labarta is a PhD  student in the Department of English & Creative Language, and an avid doodler and illustrator. Here, she shares what she has learned from working with us at our weekly StartupLab and why she finally feels empowered to put a price on her art.

Original image by Inés Gregori Labarta

As an artist, I find it difficult to put a price on what I produce. First because it’s something intimate, like a part of my body, or a memory. Also, creating equals good mental health for me and it’s, plainly, my source of energy. Creators out there, you know where I’m coming from, right? If suddenly all the papers and pencils in the world were gone and I couldn’t write or doodle, I’d automatically go insane – and start seeing faces in my wall, like the protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper. On the other side, I’m a terribly perfectionist artist. I haven’t ironed my clothes for years now but let me tell you I get literally sick every time I see the slightest mistake in my piece. Nothing of what I produce resembles the (perfect) ideals I have in my mind.

Because of all this, every time someone asked me how much I charge for an illustration or story I had no idea what to answer. It could be one thousand pounds – considering that I’m selling something unique and original that, in some cases, has taken years to produce. Or I could also give it for free considering it’s not perfect – what’s perfect in life anyways?

Did you have similar thoughts at some point in your artistic career? Art being priceless, way above money and any other mundane nuisances, or not good enough to deserve some cash. To me the turning point was gaining financial independence by working as a content writer in an office. This came with a realisation; work is great because it can give you freedom (unless you have blue blood running through your veins, of course). But you have to like it, or else it may become torture. I hated my work with a passion – the office environment turned me into a caged ferret and being forced to put quantity before quality when performing any tasks made me feel like a fraud. I put up with it, as I still do with many part time jobs, because, well, I need to, but that made me realise that I wanted to make money with something I enjoyed enough to not mind the downsides – and that has to be art.

I find many artists associate genius with poverty and misery – at the end of the day, Vincent Van Gogh never sold but one painting, and Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe died penniless. This may be rooted in your subconcious too – it was rooted in mine, at least – but as the writer Carolyn Elliot explains in this interview, you can change that. Art and money go hand in hand and hey, that doesn’t make your art dirty or less real.

Just put it this way; when you walk into Sainsburys to buy a loaf of bread, do you expect them to give it to you for free? And when you jump on the bus to go to Uni or work, do you get offended when they ask you to pay for the ticket? Do you scream at the bartender when he’s trying to charge you for a pint on a Saturday night? We live in a capitalist society – and if you don’t like it you can always burn all of your money and go to live Thoreau-like as Christopher from Into the Wild. Time is valuable, and a limited resource, so why wouldn’t it have a price? An alternative would be exchanging your goods for other people’s goods – for instance, you could try to pay for a meal with a doodle on a napkin… but realistically it would take lots of time and discussion. Money is, on the other hand, an easy way for people to show appreciation for what you do.

And this takes me back to pricing. Shall you charge all or nothing for your art? Luckily, pricing can be resolved in a logical and easy matter, so next time someone asks you how much you charge for painting or writing you can give a quick answer full of confidence – instead of blushing thinking “oh-how-can-someone-pay-for-this” and mumbling a random number. (Yes I’ve been there too). This article by Amanda Brooks from the Enterprise Centre taught me in about twenty minutes how much should I charge for my art and – more importantly – why that particular number and not another. If you want to honour your artistic gift and make it a way of living, check it out!


If like Inés, you find it difficult to know how much to charge for your work, or if you’re looking to start making money from your creative talents, get in touch.

Become a Creative Problem Solver

Crash Course in Design Thinking with Humera Fasihuddin from Stanford University’s d.school

If you are interested in developing the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to address complex challenges and compete in the economy of the future, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

At Stanford University’s, d.School, San Francisco they believe everyone has the potential to be creative and become an innovator. Through experiential student centred, team taught learning experiences, they help people from all subject disciplines to develop their creative abilities and use design to collaborate, solve challenges and create change.

No matter what you are studying at Lancaster, we invite you to immerse yourself in a one off Stanford University d.School experience with Lancaster University Enterprise Team and their guest, d.School’s Humera Fasihuddin.

Passionate about design thinking, Humera is involved in a number of innovation programmes at Stanford including ‘University Innovation Fellows’, a community of educators and students from around the world who are leading a movement and becoming agents of change using design.

In this bespoke ‘Design Thinking Crash Course’  you will experience how d.School teach design thinking by participating in and experiencing a full challenge driven design cycle.

Empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test… this will be hands on team action learning session and something totally unique.

We hope you will take away some of the basic principles of Design Thinking, start to adapt them into your personal routines, and feel inspired about new ways of understanding and tackling future business, sector and world challenges.

With your new perspectives on your potential you can experiment after this session in our weekly IdeasLabs sessions on Wednesdays in the Learning Zone.

Take a look at the sort of things the d.school do: d.school Bootcamp: The Student Experience

When? Wednesday 17th May 10am-12:30pm

Where? Management School Collaboration Suite (Lecture Theatre 10)

Book a Place: This event is open to all but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Secure your space now on Target Connect! Students who book a place are expected to attend and give at least 24 hours notice of cancellation.

This event is delivered as part of the U Start Project – part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

The National Festival of Making

The first ever National Festival of Making will take place in Blackburn from the 6th-7th of May. Bringing together artists, designers, manufacturers, small scale makers and the public, the festival promises a ‘vibrant celebration of Britain’s unrivaled making heritage and its bright future.’

In the build-up to the festival, Creative Lancashire in association with partners including the Crafts Council, Make it British, Central Research Laboratory and Lancashire Business View are hosting a number of events aimed at professional creative practitioners/makers and industry. The schedule of events includes:

  • A series of Conversations in Creativity panel discussions with a range of designers and makers.
  • Business Innovation for Growth (BIG) Talks e.g. on the role of design thinking in driving innovative manufacturing.
  • Crafts Council’s Real to Reel Film Festival.

These events aim to explore this year’s key themes of:  internationalisation of innovation, politics of production and ‘the new consumer.’

Further details and a full list of events can be found on Creative Lancashire’s website. 

What is Design?

Nesta’s take on design

What first comes to your mind when asked what ‘design’ is? Design is a term which is difficult to define and can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways by different people.

In a post made by the innovation charity Nesta, they attempt to clarify what their meaning of the term ‘design.’ They do this through breaking down design as a discipline, explaining its value and outlining some of its key principles. It’s a very useful article and worth a read on Nesta’s blog.