Accelerated Innovation Workshops - Supporting Innovation and Manufacturing in Sheffield


The ideas and innovation workspace at Gripple-owned company Loadhog

Technophobia is pleased to be working in partnership with Creative Sheffield, the Innovation Futures Initiative at Sheffield Hallam University and Gripple to organise and sponsor a series of Accelerated Innovation Workshops. The workshops are aimed at supporting Sheffield’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop methods they can use to drive innovation within their businesses. Independent multi-disciplinary designer & innovation consultant, and managing director of Elmwood, Colin Burns, facilitated the event.

The workshops are intended to get more Sheffield companies thinking about innovation and exposed to a range of innovation techniques.

Innovation is about more than just new product development, it is about reinventing processes, observing technological developments and trends in peripheral industries, anticipating customers’ needs, and aligning them with key business objectives. User-centred thinking and placing innovation at the heart of an organisation are key themes of this initiative.   

The first workshop took place on the 23rd February, following a successful pilot, held in June 2011, and had a fantastic response.  The day’s activities included various tasks centred around observation, including an exercise to identify the demographic profile of a photographer entirely based upon the nature of their photography. Technophobia user experience designer, Kevin Rapley, also presented a best practice approach to digital prototyping. Attendees also took part in a brainstorming and prototype development exercise, designed to stimulate hands-on innovation and creativity, which considered the potential to redesign a supermarket trolley.

All the groups collaborated well, plenty of impressive ideas were forthcoming and the delegates awarded the day a great satisfaction rating average score of 4.85/5.

“‘I was very excited by the workshop - I have already reorganised my department in response to some of the things I saw.” Accelerated Innovation Workshop delegate.

Subsequent sessions are scheduled for April and May, if you are interested in getting involved contact Alex Prince (

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