In my previous blog on demonstration projects in the resource industry, I introduced the Evergreen Centre for Resource Excellence & Innovation as an emerging player in applied research and innovation services in northwest Alberta and beyond.
The Evergreen Centre needs to grow to meet the increasing demands of Companies looking to develop and demonstrate their innovative ideas. These ideas are improvements to the system; they go beyond just trying to comply by meeting a minimum standard to aspiring and striving for excellence. They represent efforts to do business within a continuous improvement mentality towards achieving best practices.
Within the innovation process, the product demonstration stage is often where good ideas stop short. Here the costs of completing demonstrations over-extend the innovator as their resources are depleting.
Helping innovations into and through the demonstration stage can: help industry see there are alternatives to past practices that are not working; help the public see we are striving for excellence through best practices; and help a customer feel more comfortable in their buying decision.
Demonstration projects provide the means to introduce and experience innovative ideas & approaches and prepare the way for replication and up-scaling. A demonstration project is a relatively self-contained small-scale capital investment or technical assistance project. The purpose of which is to “demonstrate” a particular approach (how a specific type of problem can be addressed in a new or different way).
Demonstration projects are effective mechanisms for forging partnerships between public, private and (especially) community sectors, developing new ways of working together, learning by doing, and generating visible results on the ground.
Demonstration projects are monitored consistently so that the lessons of experience are captured and documented. This requires that monitoring be designed in from the outset and that monitoring activities be executed and sustained throughout.
The Evergreen Centre will help the innovator and industry by bridging the gap between a concept and the marketplace. It will show the public that the province and industry is serious about environmental sustainability and responsible development. Most importantly it will show how to manage change for a better community.
So how should the up-scaled Evergreen Centre support “demonstration projects in the resource industry sector”? What do you think of creating an open-innovation network or discussion group that focuses on talking about new low impact ideas? How much help does an innovator need with project management of their idea? Do we need third-party testing of the ideas to get marketplace acceptance of a new idea? Do innovators need some help with securing money to do the demonstration? Can the Centre help an innovator introduce the workable idea into marketplace through an industry operator?
I’m hoping you will share your thoughts and insights on the value and direction Evergreen Centre is considering undertaking. We hope to continue to build on a dynamic team of innovators and problem-solvers, and via this blog invite you to join. We want the Evergreen Centre to be a player in making a difference on how Alberta’s resources are developed.
If you are interested in innovative ideas as demonstration projects in resource industry, let’s continue the conversation and Move Innovation Forward.