Newicon Innovation Toolkit recognised at the SPARKies Awards

We take a look at the evolution of our Innovation Toolkit, recently resulting in Newicon being shortlisted for a SPARKies Award.

George Barnes

Digital
·2 min read (535 words)
An image describing how Newicon have been shortlisted for a SPARKie Award because of their work on an Innovation Toolkit

When we first came up with the idea of our Innovation Toolkit, we never imagined that it’d end up where it is today — making an impact in universities and shortlisted for a prestigious award!

Before we get into that, here’s a quick recap of how we got here.

How it all started

To begin with (all the way back in 2018), the idea was simply to package up our process of innovative thinking. At Newicon, we’ve spent years coming up with not only new technologies and software for clients but also new ways of thinking and problem-solving. The Innovation Toolkit was our way of putting that experience into a box. That way, our clients could actually take this process and build it into their own businesses. 

Little did we know that the future of the Innovation Toolkit would take it somewhere else completely. 

Innovation in education

Our first surprise was when the University of the West of England (UWE) asked to use the Innovation Toolkit to help teach design thinking principles to engineering students. We knew the kit was an educational tool, but we hadn’t planned for it to be used as part of an educational curriculum. But we were about to find out that the kit would excel in this environment, just as it had with businesses.

As we mentioned in a recent update, we just learned that 348 engineering students have benefitted from the kit this year, and the university is planning to continue using it for the foreseeable future. 

Up for an award

Very recently, we had even more good news about the kit, after finding out that we’ve been shortlisted for a community SPARKies Award. These awards are run by the fantastic TechSPARK, a not-for-profit organisation, who, in their own words are: “dedicated to connecting, educating and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West.” 

Our shortlist is based on the work we’ve been doing with the Innovation Toolkit, and whether we win or not, it’s a huge honour to have that work recognised. 

The future 

This is really just the beginning for the Innovation Toolkit. What started as an idea in a box, has become a product that can help almost any organisation in any sector. 

Here’s an example: we’re currently in talks with people in the school system about using the Innovation Toolkit to help 15 and 16-year-olds to use design thinking principles to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Getting this kind of thinking into the curriculum early would be a fantastic way to prepare the next generation of problem solvers and critical thinkers.

In fact, we’ll be using the kit in our own educational setting — Newicon Academy. With the Academy, it’s our mission to bring design thinking, coding skills and more to anybody with the will to learn. We’re especially keen on tackling both the skills gap and the gender imbalance in tech, and Innovation Toolkit is set to play a big role in making those goals become a reality.   

So if there’s one message to take away from all this, we’d say: watch this space!

If you'd like to find out more about our Innovation process and Toolkit, then you can do that here.

 


I'm George Barnes

Digital at Newicon

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