The report suggests that Defra should take a leading role in the TI agenda, working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and others. Specifically it proposes that Defra should consider taking the following steps.
• Become a champion for TI within Government.
• Facilitate specific transformative innovations and ‘learning by doing’ in the sectors in which it takes a lead.
• Commission detailed focused ‘socio-technical’ analyses of the ‘systems of provision’ impinging on the Defra remit and achievement of its PSAs.
• Convene in partnership an international workshop on transformative innovation;
• Promote learning - use lessons from the above to inform further policy development and institutional change.
• Initiate a novel programme of ‘Public Dialogue for Transformative Innovation’, to extend the scope and depth of existing deliberation around science and innovation in Defra and BIS. The aim here is to widen networks, so as to identify and establish robust innovation trajectories.
• Establish, with BIS and others, a networked ‘Competence Centre for Transformative Innovation’, to develop the capacities and links needed to take forward a portfolio of initiatives identified through the Public Dialogue. The Centre could also have agenda setting, extension and mentoring roles. Extensive use should be made of open web-based fora for expertise and practitioners in key ‘bottleneck’ areas in terms of social innovations, technologies, skills and research.
• Push for cross-departmental commitment joining up existing policies and regulations to create Transformation Platforms to better enable promising niche technologies to take off in specific sectors. This also means building networks within and outside Government so as to develop alliances and engender confidence and momentum behind TI.
• Establish a Transformative Innovation Board under Nolan rules to provide a coherent evolving focus and purpose for the multiple strands of activity above. The TIB would report to Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser, but would include members from BIS, Cabinet Office, Treasury and bodies such as the Technology Strategy Board and NESTA. It would draw on external expertise in areas such as finance markets, social behaviour, strategic management, system engineering and ‘bottom-up’ (or ‘open’) innovation.