28 July 2012

Celebrating British Technology: we should make a habit of it

For me the best part of yesterday's opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was the focus on Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Sir Tim brought us the world wide web which is one of a very small number of inventions which has revolutionized everyday life. And Sir Tim was not the only great British innovator recognized at the ceremony. Isamard Kingdom Brunel played by Kenneth Branagh was featured too. As I tweeted just a few minutes ago, it is not often that we celebrate British science and technology, We should make a habit of it.

Happily there is an event that does just that.   The Make it in Great Britain campaign, which is run by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, aims to challenge outdated notions of British manufacturing industry and in particular the myth that Britain doesn’t make anything anymore.  It celebrates the successes of our manufacturing sector and highlights the best in British innovation. 

The centre piece of the event is an exhibition at the Science Museum which runs from 24 July to 9 September and coincides with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.. It showcases every economic activity in the UK from creative industries to pharmaceuticals. One of the features of the exhibition is a competition to find the best British invention from a number of finalists grouped in a number of categories:
  • Breakthrough Finalists
  • Smarter Finalists
  • Stronger Finalists
  • Life Changing Finalists
  • Sustainable Finalists.
A different group is features at the exhibition and on the website every week and visitors are encouraged to choose the invention they like best.   The winners of each category will be chosen at the end of the contest.  This is just the sort of encouragement that business needs to invest and innovate for our economic recovery.