April 19, 2010 • 12:02 pm
On Tuesday 27 April, the R&D Society and the authors of BIG POTATOES: The London Manifesto for Innovation in association with EPOCH have together organised an eve-of-election event on innovation and the future of the UK.
Despite its importance to our economic future, innovation has largely been overlooked since the credit crunch and is being largely ignored in the UK General Election.
This debate aims to ask:
- What are the real barriers to making transformational innovations today?
- How is innovation best managed?
- What should business, government and the third sector do to change things?
I will be speaking on behalf of Big Potatoes, but the other speakers are:
- Eliot Forster, CEO Solace Pharmaceuticals
- Munira Mirza, advisor for arts and culture to London Mayor
- Stefan Stern, management columnist, Financial Times
- James Wilsdon, Director of the Science Policy Centre, The Royal Society
The event is scheduled to start at 18:45 at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG. Please arrive at 18.30 for registration etc. Tickets can be obtained at the door but it is advisable to book in advance through EventBrite. Tickets are as follows:
Corporate £30 / individual £15, (£15 R&D Society members)
Filed under: R&D and Innovation, Big Potatoes Manifesto, General Election
I couldn’t help but publish a similar text analysis and cloud of the Green Party’s Manifesto launched today titled (and clearly in competition with the Lib Dems) ‘Fair is worth Fighting For’. The New Green Deal apparently represents harmony for the future. But a quick analysis shows that in 18,867 words the following are not regarded as critical to that future:
- ‘Innovation’ is not mentioned once;
- ‘Research & Development’ is never mentioned; ‘research’ as in animal research or environmental protection or sustainable development is mentioned four times;
- ‘Productivity’ is not mentioned at all, ‘productive’ once, while ‘counterproductive’ is mentioned three times; and,
- ‘Recession’ is mentioned twice.
Never mind the future where there will be no innovation, no R&D, no productivity, the present recession is hardly recognised. The Green Deal vision is the best articulation of today’s culture of limits which every other political party has copied and make core to their Manifestos. Never mind innovation, or growth, or increasing productivity, the future is ‘local’ – mentioned 74 times. Parochial low expectations ‘fairly’ distributed.
Filed under: R&D and Innovation, Science and Innovation, General Election, Green Party Manifesto
April 14, 2010 • 11:11 am
So the Liberal Democrats published their Manifesto today which has no name but has four slogans instead, all prefaced by ‘fair’: taxes, chance, future, deal. Can you guess what it is yet? The text cloud is depressingly similar to the Tories and Labour Party.
The same text analysis is even more depressing. In a manifesto of close to 22,000 words:
- ‘Innovation’ is mentioned five times;
- ‘Research & Development’ is mentioned twice while ‘research’ gets a whopping 7 mentions;
- ‘Productivity’ doesn’t even get a mention, while
- ‘Recession’ is mentioned only five times.
An interesting observation about the text cloud is the prominence of ‘Liberal’ and ‘Democrats’. Does this suggest a lack of confidence about the electorates ability to remember who they are?
As mentioned before, I will publish a more substantial analysis of these Manifestos now that they have been published. This will form part of a speech I will be presenting at a public meeting on innovation and the General Election, on Tuesday 27 April, 18:30 at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG. This has been jointly organised by the authors of BIG POTATOES: The London Manifesto for Innovation and the R&D Society.
Filed under: R&D and Innovation, Science and Innovation, General Election, Lib Dem Manifesto
The Conservative Party launched their ‘Invitation to join the government of Britain’ Manifesto today. Like Labour, this makes pretty depressing reading for those concerned with the recession, innovation and future funding for research. Surprising that a party that claims to want to end big government (and raise individual choice), ‘government’ is the largest word in the text cloud above. (This text cloud has the same settings as the Labour Party one published on this blog yesterday).
Breaking down the Tory manifesto results in a similar desultory picture. In a Manifesto which is close to 30,000 words:
- ‘Innovation’ is mentioned only eight times;
- ‘Research & Development’ is mentioned as a couplet only twice, while ‘Research’ appears seven times;
- ‘Productivity’ comes up seven times, and
- ‘Recession’ four times.
Filed under: R&D and Innovation, Science and Innovation, General Election, Tory Manifesto
April 12, 2010 • 10:20 pm
As a quick analysis of the Labour Party’s election Manifesto published today, I’ve generated a word cloud from the text of the Manifesto using Wordle. The cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear most frequently. For those who are interested, I have set this at a cut-off point of 500 words and arranged the results in alphabetical order (from left to right). This is a crude representation of the content of the Manifesto. But it says a great deal.
The Manifesto is approximately 30,000 words.
- The term ‘innovation’ appears 11 times throughout;
- ‘Research and Development’ appears once (under the section on Investing in science and research, Section 1 on Growth);
- ‘Productivity’ appears 3 times – once coupled with ‘innovation’ but only in reference to the effect of ‘stronger employee engagement’ (whatever that may mean);
- ‘Recession’ appears 12 times (mostly descriptive, with eight references to the current situation);
- All the above terms thus do not even appear in this cloud (which as stated above has a cut off point of 500 words).
The words a that stand out, particularly ‘new’, ‘people’, ‘work’, ‘care’, ‘britain’ express the vacuous character of the Manifesto and the absence of real content. The crude emphasis upon ‘new’ is a sure sign of the absence of anything new.
I intend doing a similar analysis of all the other Party Manifestos as they are published this week. Once they are all done, I will write a more substantial piece on the content of what they are saying with respect to the recession, innovation and the future of economic growth. This is being done in relation to Big Potatoes: the London Manifesto for Innovation and will be presented as part of my speech at the ‘Innovation, R&D and the General Election’ public meeting at the Royal Society on the evening of 27 April 2010.
Filed under: R&D and Innovation, Science and Innovation, General Election, Labour Manifesto