The IP Foundation empowers stakeholders to develop new ventures that strategically manage their social and environmental impacts. The Foundation is a catalyst for exploring great ideas, developing and testing innovative solutions and launching new ventures in mainstream markets and exists to support stakeholders striving to reduce the environmental impact of creating value for society. To achieve this the IP Foundation establishes Innovation Partnerships with key stakeholders keen to capture the creativity of Entrepreneurs and Innovators and to accelerate the development of new ventures by placing values-driven Innovation at their heart.
An Innovation Partnership is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) established as a subsidiary of the IP Foundation to manage an incubation framework with the financial, human and physical resources needed by Entrepreneurs and Innovators seeking support to commercialize their ideas. Through the support given to Entrepreneurs and Innovators in their endeavours to develop new ventures, an Innovation Partnership helps to improve the welfare and prosperity of communities, whilst offering Investors an opportunity to generate market rate returns from de-risked new ventures operating in mainstream markets.
Collectively, the Foundation’s Innovation Partnerships will crystallize an Innovation system with the capacity to catalyze Innovation at the scale and pace needed to meet the global demand for well governed businesses that strategically manage their social and environmental impacts and offers investors an opportunity to align their portfolios to these values.
…wondering why & where Foundation Innovation Partnerships could be established?
LONDON FOOD SECURITY INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP
The Agriculture sector affects the environment through its direct impacts on land cover and ecosystems, and on global and regional cycles of carbon, nutrients and water. To meet a growing global demand for food, the trend is to increase intensification and extend the land used for cultivation. However, risks to food security are increasing from the pressure on supply chains and through the loss of crop diversity, decline of pollinators and increased vulnerability of monocultures to diseases. An Innovation Partnership sponsored by key stakeholders will help to identify solutions that overcome the challenges of food production and security.
SWINDON INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP
With Honda announcing its intention to close its manufacturing base in the UK in 2022, the impact on the regional economy of Swindon is likely to be enormous. Honda employs 3500 people on its 370 acre site located on the outskirts of Swindon town and the impact is likely to affect upwards of 7000 skilled workers in the supply chain spread across many businesses. A Swindon Innovation Partnership would bring together key stakeholders including the regional government, Honda and local businesses to capture the creativity of the local community in an endeavour to meet the challenge of regenerating the region’s economy.
SOUTH AFRICA INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP
Mining and burning coal is one of the most destructive activities on the planet. It represents an immediate threat to all forms of life by using scarce water resources, degrading arable land and emitting toxic pollution into the air and water. And with 90% of the nations energy coming from coal-fired power stations, the South African government is under pressure to close mines. Yet impact on the economy and local communities when a mine closes is devastating. A South Africa Innovation Partnership sponsored by the government and key stakeholders in the mining industry, could help affected communities manage the transition to a more resilient economy.
Critics of the mainstream markets have long maintained that it is the negative consequences of conventional economics and its impact on local communities, society at large and on the wider environment where the need for reform is most acute. Consequently, the Foundation’s Innovation Partnerships will be established to create new ventures that adopt a much more holistic approach and recognise the essential interdependence between the Economy, Society and the Environment.
Concern for the long term resilience of our economies is compounded by macroeconomic factors such as the challenges of global warming, biodiversity loss, land use, water scarcity, income disparity, social unrest and extreme poverty. These are all indicators of systemic failure of our businesses, innovation systems and the resultant economies to create value at the scale required to overcome these challenges. Innovation decisions must be carefully considered if we are to foster businesses that aim to mitigate or adapt to these challenges and given the scale of the challenges, and the scale of the investment needed to overcome them, returns must be seen to match market rates.
These are the principles that will guide the innovation activities and underpin the investment strategy of the IP-Foundation. They are based on the conviction that the transition to a more resilient economy must inevitably be led by well governed businesses strategically managing their social and environmental impacts.
From the outset an Innovation Partnership brings together Stakeholders seeking solutions and Entrepreneurs with great ideas for solutions. Consequently, the Innovation Pipeline is established by exploring with key stakeholders the value of ideas introduced by Entrepreneurs and Innovators, and also by launching Themed innovation challenges in response to clearly defined problems.
Right from the start the approach is focused on building partnerships around potential solutions. This is achieved through structured stakeholder engagement aimed at clarifying ‘needs‘ with regional stakeholders and world class clients, and exploring innovative ideas and business models with Entrepreneurs and Innovators. This pre-incubation Explore phase aims to bind problem solvers to stakeholders searching for solutions. The best ideas are selected based on a plausible business case and with the support of stakeholders keen to see the solution succeed, a burgeoning Venture enters the incubation process.
The incubation framework is broadly divided into stages with each step punctuated by a decision to proceed to the next stage based on clearly defined criteria. The framework gives Entrepreneurs and Innovators the freedom, support and resources needed to develop their ideas and a platform to build and justify the case for continuing support.
The initial flurry of incubation activity occurs during the ‘Develop’ stage, which is used to build prototypes and facilitate the Minimal Viable Proposition (MVP) needed to test the solution. With an acceptable MVP the next step is to ‘Test’ the solution within the context of the business model and build the business case for the Venture. With a verifiable business case the next step is to ‘Launch’ the Venture and with evidence that the Venture is generating cashflow and meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), the final step is the ‘Exit’ stage where support is given to raise the series A funding needed to scale the Venture.
The financial resources of an Innovation Partnership are sourced from key stakeholders such as commercial and public sector partners and Investors. Finance can take the form of long term loans, grants, Gift Aid as well as contributions from Donor Allocated Funds (DAF’s).
The Innovation Partnership will be operated as a not-for-profit and funds raised are used to finance the resources needed to incubate new Ventures. The cost of incubation is added to the balance sheet of each Venture and on Exit, this expenditure is recovered as either debt, equity or a blend of both. Financial sustainability is reached as the number of successful Ventures grows.
Throughout the incubation process, the Innovation Partnership’s key stakeholders have an opportunity to evaluate the investment potential of emerging Ventures and for those that successfully exit the incubation process, priority is given to them when sourcing Series A funding.
The governance structure of an Innovation Partnership includes a board of Trustees and a management team supported by a non executive Steering Committee and Investment Panel. The management team reports to the board of Trustees, which has overall responsibility for the culture and activities of the Innovation Partnership. An Innovation Partnership is a subsidiary of the IP-Foundation and the board of Trustees is appointed by the IP-Foundation.
The Steering Committee is formed to represent the key stakeholders and an Investment Panel is established to represent the Innovation Partnership’s financial sponsors. The role of the Steering Committee is to clarify the aims of the Innovation Partnership, whereas the role of the Investment Panel is to approve the use of its financial resources. Members of the Steering Committee and the Investment Panel also provide high level support to the management team.
Guided by the Steering Committee and the Investment Panel, the management team implements the innovation strategy for the Innovation Partnership. The innovation strategy, developed by the IP-Foundation, is designed to achieve the aims of the Innovation Partnership as set out by the Steering Committee. The innovation strategy will include launching Thematic challenges to explore problematic areas of strategic interest to committee members as well as identifying and incubating prospective solutions approved by the Investment Panel. The IP-Foundation will augment the services needed by the management team to implement the innovation strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The IP-Foundation is seeking advocacy and critical review from stakeholders interested in finding out more about the IP-Foundation and its mission to create new Ventures with values-driven innovation at their heart. This site has been developed to explain to site visitors, the purpose, activities and motivation for establishing Innovation Partnerships.
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