Tech Lab (Innovation)

Making reactions ‘go’ is a curious science. Powerpoint presenters love the idea of a catalyst – something that accelerates a reaction but can be recovered afterwards, chemically unchanged - but if anyone ever did that Chemistry experiment with the hydrogen peroxide and the liver, catalysts are not so sexy in real life.

TechLab Innovation is catalytic. We look to find parts of the business with the right mixture of ingredients (resources, business problem, realisable value/cost saving). It's a challenging pursuit but it creates good outcomes.

Proactive and retro-active reuse

"All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl." - Charlie Chaplin

Innovation is hard

Today SpaceX sent a rocket into orbit. Between now and Wednesday, it will drift its way to the International Space Station where it will deliver its cargo payload as part of a resupply operation. 'Dragon' is the first time a commercial body has launched such a groundbreaking mission. The reusable SpaceX rocket booster that lofted Dragon into the heavens successfully returned to earth intact too!

Tech Lab (Delivery)

Reuse sounds great. We like reuse. Reuse means less duplication. Ensuring that wheel-like objects are not invented all over DWP’s Digital landscape seems like time well-spent. O that avoiding the reinvention of many round rolling things were as simple as saying “don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Invoiced consulting fees versus PAYE salary payments

Organisations can employ staff under two contracts, PAYE and consultancy. Tax and National Insurance (NI) is collected at source for PAYE, but deferred for invoiced consulting fees. The table below outlines their equivalency:

PAYE yearly salary Consulting day rate Yearly net
£30000 £164.647 £22806.17
£42000 £238.321 £28166.17
£55000 £301.57 £34651.93
£70000 £386.41 £43351.93
£90082 £500.00 £54999.49
£115913 £650.00 £69981.39

New role as Digital Director for Bridgeman

I've taken up a new position with Bridgeman, in fact I've already started part-time. I'll be running their Digital team, based largely in London and working with the foreign offices in New York, Berlin and Paris to deliver a new website later this year.

It's been a great privilege working at Technology Strategy Board for the past three years. I'll miss working closely with the other technologists and sector specialists and I wish them every success with their future projects.

Interviewed by Engineering and Technology magazine

I did an interview for Caroline Elliott's article in the IET's Engineering and Technology magazine, entitled "Enterprising Careers". Really pleased with the quote:

Metadata Tools for Production £5m competition

Innovation policy through experimentation

I read a great blog post from Hasan Bakhshi at NESTA entitled Innovation policy through experimentation and commented:

Transdisciplinary collaboration

I was asked recently to contribute some thoughts under the heading of "Transdisciplinary collaboration". How do you encourage two different communities of innovators to work together? Is there anything that collaborators can do to deliver better projects when working across sector boundaries?

For me the critical thing is translation. I believe:

  • a single message for two communities doesn't work. We have to describe the challenge for each community in a language it understands;

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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